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Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite
No You Don't: Essays from an Unstrange Mind by Sparrow Rose Jones is a non-fiction book featuring several essays initially published on the author’s blog under the pen name Unstrange Mind. The essays are written from the author’s perspective on how she lives with Autism, in order to give people a glimpse of what she has experienced: from communication difficulties and interpersonal skills to bullying, abuse, and struggles. The book gives both professionals and people with Autism an insight into the condition from a personal perspective, without claiming to be exhaustive. The book finishes on a positive note that, after all the struggle, there is also joy and fulfillment and every Autistic person has the potential to achieve that and even more, as the author emphasizes.
Reading No You Don't, I felt as if I was entrusted with someone’s most intimate secrets. It takes a lot of courage to confess some aspects of your life when you are unsure of how they will be perceived. I felt as if I was treading on someone’s most personal thoughts. I had to make sure I did not crush them under my feet, but respect them while quietly walking on tip toes until reaching my destination - a better understanding of the condition and people that have it without judging.
The main message is that Autistic people don't have to go through what the author went through; in fact, with the right support in place from educators, professionals, family and friends, they can lead more fulfilled lives without all the suffering described in the book. As for the writing style, I can only admire the author’s way with words. The overall impression was that I was reading a literary piece with lyrical elements, giving the book the poetic touch of a talented writer.