I am such a goober. I received and read this book MONTHS ago. I apologize to the author, the publicist and anyone who expected to see this review way back when.
I could swear I wrote it, but it's not on my site, nor is it in my drafts. So ... where did Saving Max go?
Saving Max is an incredible book by first-time author Antoinette van Heugten. This image below *credited to Goodreads.com* is not the cover of the copy I received, and I'll be honest, I prefer the original cover, as I wouldn't have done well with assuming that Max looked like the boy you see here ... but that's just me!
Anyway, let me tell you about Max and his mom. Max is an autistic boy whose behaviors seem to be getting worse every day. He pulls deeper and deeper into himself, with his mother being his only true connection to the real world. Max's mother, Danielle, is a strong and powerful woman. At least that is my perspective. Perhaps the powerful aspect grows as we watch her fight for her son. You see, she ultimately ends up bringing Max to a special place for children with similar issues. Some lesser, some more intense. All of this comes to a head as Max is found, by his mother, with blood all over him. He's so withdrawn that Danielle completely thinks that it is HIS blood. She's shocked, floored, and then suddenly, she realizes that there is a body in the room. Laying on the floor. Covered in blood. COVERED in blood.
Oh My G-d. Max! What happened? Max!?! Are you OK? (My words, not hers.) Was Max hurt? Was he the person who did this to this body laying beside him? Danielle needed to pull herself together, needed to figure out what to do.
We spend the rest of this novel watching Max's mother fight for her boy. If you're a parent, and have ever had to stand up for your child, or even anticipated having to do so, you'll respect her efforts on his behalf. But you'll also think to yourself, how far would I go? What would I do if I thought it was even remotely possible that my child was capable of murdering someone? Would I fight for him/her til the bitter end? Would I even believe it was possible?
Danielle fought for her boy. This story unravels before our eyes, and we bring in characters that we know we want to like, but sometimes we hate them and other times we truly love them and what they do for this story.
Oh, one last minute detail. Danielle is a lawyer. Let's see how that comes into play throughout her attempts to defend her child, as well.
I truly enjoyed this book. It comes right back to me as I sit here typing up this review. (Again, my sincerest apologies for being so late! But now that I see that the book is not yet released it's actually PERFECT timing, right?) I remember the emotions I felt as I got to know Max. The fears I felt, as a mother, for him as a scared young boy. The connection I felt with Danielle as a fighter. The anger that flashed through me as I watched the children of this residence/treatment location be treated in certain ways. This book is a touching and thrilling account of a character with autism who is trying to be heard, and a mother who never wants to stop listening.
You can find this book available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking here!