Review: Odd Girl Out By Laura James.

I’m not sure how I came across Odd Girl Out; it has been a book on my reading  wishlist for a while now. It was probably the bright cover, or the tagline; anyone, as I was given book vouchers for my birthday, I decided to buy it. And I was not disappointed.

About the book:

Odd Girl Out is a biographical account of Laura’s life; it examines with flashes back and forth, having received her Autism diagnosis. It begins with looking at paperwork related to her diagnosis, with her husband, on holiday. We then see Laura as a child, struggling somewhat. (I find how she writes this account very effective!) She is also a young mother, a journalist, a wife; there are also moments after the diagnosis, such as wondering how her life could have been very different.

Thoughts as someone #ActuallyAutistic:

Finally, at last someone ‘gets it’!

I have read around the subject of Autism, especially since I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in January 2015. Even by that point, I had had enough of medical jargon, the assumptions, and various individuals forming ideas of who I was as a person. (Not always someone who was valued a lot; they were the sort who freaked on finding out the diagnosis, then being horrible.)

But this book is a reflection, really, of what I felt. Since then, I have wondered what my life would have been like if diagnosed early; some teacher were not necessarily the best help with or without it. I also think that I’d have been told less of what I can’t do; I was told that I can’t cook well, that I cannot do PE well enough to be considered ‘good’.
As an Autistic individual, I was happy to find this book. I am bored with the instruction manuals about how to be more neuro-typical, the books by parents writing about how hard it is to have an autistic child is. Laura has an interesting writers voice-one we need-and I hope to hear more from her.

What could have been better: 

I found the first chapter revealing, really.

At times I think the book can be a little be ‘fact heavy’-which is ironic, as I kind of live my life by facts. (To illustrate further; I can recite all Presidents since Herbert Hoover, what their party was, and if they were a Vice President.) However, this is a way to illustrate a point-which comes across as being very much a hallmark. Though I couldn’t always quite get my head round it, I wouldn’t have changed it at all.


To buy the book on Amazon, click here. Follow Laura on Twitter here.  And read my interview with her here. 

3 Comments

  1. May 11, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    I remember you saying you enjoyed the book when I posted asking about it on Twitter. I’m so glad you decided to post a review! I love fact heavy books when I’m in the mood to read non-fiction books, so I’m definitely going to save it for an occasion that this is the case.

  2. May 14, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    Have you come across Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams on your travels, Lydia? She’s a playwright, poet, public speaker and late diagnosed autistic woman from Wales. Her first play, The Duck, to be performed by the Autact Theatre Company, kicks off at Plymouth Fringe Festival on 2nd June. I thought she may be of interest to you because her essays on autism are extraordinarily good (one of her pieces was longlisted for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2018). If you want to know more you can see her blog at https://autistrhi.com and info about Autact here: https://autact.wordpress.com

    • mademoisellewomen
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      I haven’t! But thank you for introducing us 😀

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.