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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
People’s obsession with what’s on TV takes on a new level in Losing Normal by Francis Moss. Huge TV screens are installed everywhere in public spaces and everyone is getting one of the new TVs that promises the best and most personalized shows people could wish for. Schools also get screens in every room to help with education and even make the presence of a teacher unnecessary. The majority of the population does not notice that there is something very wrong with the broadcasts from these screens. Alex, however, does. He is autistic and for some reason his brain is able to see something bad coming from the screens. He is also able to influence the broadcast and shut it down – which turns him and people like him into enemy number one of the artificial intelligence behind the broadcasts.
I picked up Losing Normal by Francis Moss because seeing an autistic boy as the hero of a novel in which a supercomputer tries to take over control of the human mind seemed like a very interesting concept. Books that have protagonists with special needs are usually of a completely different type and more focused on “real life”, so it was very nice to see something different, something that shows how autistic kids can indeed be heroes in truly exciting stories. The world needs more books like this, especially when they are well written and engaging like Losing Normal. I know a few autistic people from my work with a charity, so it was nice to see them represented in a positive and realistic light. I had a lot of fun reading this novel and found the pacing of the plot well done.