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Different but Perfect - an Aspie's story of life so far

Updated on July 29, 2014

Ethereally Beautiful Book Cover

Book Cover Illustration by Marjolein Lucas, Copy layout/design by Irina Hale
Book Cover Illustration by Marjolein Lucas, Copy layout/design by Irina Hale | Source

No Better Friend

This is not just any book review, due to the fact that the author is a very dear friend of mine. So am I going to be biased? U-huh. I can't completely set aside what a phenomenal person this author is, in my opinion, while trying to give the most honest and professional review of her book that I can. So there.

That said, I am a discriminating reader, and this book captured my interest and my heart. It is a personal story that sheds light on the challenges of Asperger Syndrome. It is penned with humor and candor that the reader will surely find more interesting than a textbook explanation of the developmental disorder.

What the heck is normal?

As I have experienced a friendship with the author over a period of three years, I can attest to the challenges Asperger can bring to a relationship. Our friendship also brings to mind one of my favorite quotes ever -

A very insightful and helpful book...

"Different but Perfect" not only educated me on the challenges facing those living with Asperger Syndrome, it also taught me much about myself and how I relate to my own challenges in life. It is a great resource for those who have friends that are "Aspies" (I learned from this book that this is the term most accepted in the community).

"I am not fond of people referring to people with Asperger Syndrome as just "Aspergers." We are not a diagnosis. However, we have adapted the nickname "Aspies" for ourselves. That nickname is used several times in this book, so now you know the reason behind it."

Imagine any typical junior high school student being bullied on any typical day. Not fun. A junior high school student struggling with Asperger Syndrome and trying to process insults and horrible threats? Off the Richter scale of terrifying. And yet when someone is "different" they often become even more of a target.

It is heartbreaking to learn how little help was offered to the author at some of her schools. This is something we, as parents can learn from - and be more engaged in what our child's school life is like. The author does a brilliant job of forgiving all involved and encouraging others to let go of past hurts. She also brings out compelling evidence of what needs to be changed about our schools. Bravo to the teachers who are helpful and sincerely caring! They can change the course of a child's life, and maybe even save it, so that there is still a life to bring hope to.

It is hard to read of the deep depression (occurring in school-aged children and teens) that sometimes leads to self-harm practices. Yet if we are going to do anything to help, we need to be aware of the problem. I found it extremely courageous of the author to share her personal experiences in order to help others.

Jacinta Feyling's video about her book - "Different but Perfect"

Interviews with other Aspies

A great feature of Jacinta's book is the chapter with interviews. This segment shows that the diagnosis of Asperger does not mean the same things to all people with the diagnosis. Each interview is a bit different. I found the questions fascinating.

Jacinta's sweet kitty Michael, named after MJ.
Jacinta's sweet kitty Michael, named after MJ. | Source
One of the author's inspirations: Michael Jackson
One of the author's inspirations: Michael Jackson

Inspiration, Choices and Challenges

In chapters four, five and six, the author takes the reader through a personal story of her religious background, her convictions, what inspires her now, and the challenges she faces. I found this to be a very interesting and fascinating part of the book.

Her departure from organized religion and connection to faith on an even deeper level through a powerful spirit influence, is something that drew us together as friends. Though everyone goes through their own process, it is interesting to see how people sometimes arrive at the same conclusions through varied experiences. The "MJ factor" was our initial common ground. From that point our kindred spirits became more and more evident. This friendship experience between the author and I further punctuates her findings that an Aspie can build friendships with anyone, and is not limited to only relationships with others with his or her same diagnosis. Relationships are built on things people have in common, or shared interests, not a particular diagnosis.

If you have a friend who has the challenges common to Asperger, such as, communication problems, understanding the fine points of social skills, or having difficulty with being flexible in thinking or behavior, it is important to consider that when you know what they are dealing with, you can have an amazing friendship with some adjustments on your part. A lot of "reading between the lines" may be required, but the rewards are great. It is highly likely that with patience you will begin to see that you may never have a more loyal or genuinely supportive friend. That, in my opinion, makes it so worth understanding and adjusting to the challenges.

Author, Jacinta Feyling

Author's Picture, Different but Perfect, an Aspie's story of life so far
Author's Picture, Different but Perfect, an Aspie's story of life so far | Source

Beautiful Poetess as well...

The author wraps up the book with positive points about Asperger Syndrome, a message to all parents, and a very special tribute segment to those who have inspired her: Michael Jackson, along with "Glee" stars Chris Colfer and Curt Mega. She quotes them, and shows that her admiration for them is based on their ability to relate to and help others on such subjects as outreach, coping with bullying, and encouraging others.

The very last two pages contain an amazing poem written by the author on July 24, 2011 in remembrance of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and at Utoya Island on July 22 of that year. The words show the author's beautiful heart in a poem of grief for the victims of the tragic shootings in her home country of Norway.

I found "Different but Perfect" to be a fresh and candid look at both the negative and positive things experienced by those with Asperger Syndrome.

With both humor and poignancy, Jacinta Feyling speaks from her heart and shares her story to help others. I highly recommend this book and I treasure our friendship.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A lovely tribute my friend; written, obviously, from the heart.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you, dear Billybuc! I need to wait until it's morning in Norway - for her to see it! :) I hope it is a nice surprise for her! Her book can be such an encouragement to teens coping with Asperger Syndrome. I hope it reaches many people!

    • profile image

      ├ůse 4 years ago

      Best book ewer. Just because i am in it^^.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you for commenting! I am assuming you were interviewed in the book? :) It is an awesome book, I agree. Many blessings to you!

    • profile image

      Mayra 4 years ago

      Aaw, how lovely you made this text for Jacinta's book! Oh, I like her video too!

      Miss you both!

      Much love =)

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Mayra,

      Thank you so much for reading! I love seeing you here. Miss you too. :)

      Love and Hugs to you! :)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Wow, you did such a wonderful job of reviewing this author. You certainly did a solid piece of writing to highlight her.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you, Mike. I appreciate that. I hope other Aspies will read and find encouragement in her book!

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 4 years ago from Wales

      What a lovely compliment to your friend. I do hope her book is a success!

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you so much for your comment! Much Success to you as well.

    • SarahWhitman909 profile image

      SarahWhitman909 4 years ago

      What a very sweet thing to do for Jacinta!!! :) I'm so glad that I got the chance to meet her as well. Look at how Michael is bringing us all together! It's beautiful!!! :) LOVE IT!!!!! TYJ for writing such a wonderful book in honor of those who may have some struggles in life. Even though you may not be physically there helping the readers, your book is your heart reaching out to them and giving them a helping hand through your beautiful heart and spirit. TYH for sharing!

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thanks for reading! Love you bunches, Sarah. Yes, a very nice way to word it, regarding the affect that books can have on people.

      Praying that her book gets out there and helps many!

      Tweet Katy Perry about it! She cares. ;)

    • SarahWhitman909 profile image

      SarahWhitman909 4 years ago

      :) Love you more!!! Many hearts!!!!!

      Alrighty, I'll definitely tweet her! :)

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