Saving Max by Antoinette Van Heugten

Danielle Parkman has her hands full.  Between being an attorney and worrying and caring for her teenage son Max who has high functioning autism, as a single mom she is working both day and night.  Then Max starts to lash out and not responding the way he used to.  There is suspected drug use and as Max starts to become violent Danielle seeks professional help for him and he goes to a psychiatric facility.

When Danielle discovers Max unconscious at the facility and bloody next to Jonas, a boy he had befriended on his same floor, who has been stabbed to death, Danielle herself is arrested as an accessory to the crime.  In a whirlwind of events, Danielle works hard to prove her sons innocence, not knowing herself if he is, or if she just can not accept her son as a killer.

With the justice system bearing down on her, the true question becomes how far will a mother go to protect her son?

I have read and enjoyed several books around the topic of Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that I have never heard of until a little over a year ago and now it seems like I am hearing and reading about it everywhere.   When I first read what this book was about I felt it sounded much like the plot for Jodi Piccoult’s recent book. House Rules, and in a small way it is.

I liked the pace of this book and while I have a couple other reads going right now I found I had to set them down in order to be supportive of Max as his mother Danielle works hard to prove her sons innocence, all the while I was holding my breath and wondering if he was innocent.

This is Antoinette’s first book and I found it to be a well written thriller.  While the book is about Max, the real character is Asperger’s and you get that through Max’s actions, not so much his words.  I found that to be an interesting part of the book and found myself longing to know what would happen next but unwilling to turn the page until I had fully read every word.

Amazon Rating (TBA) – This book will be available in book stores in late September

Book Journey has updated the 2010 reading Map to include Saving Max

Cover Story:  This is not the cover that is on my advanced copy but I like it much better than the one I have (which is pictured on my morning post prior to this post).  The cover here makes you want to know this boy and what is happening inside him.

I received my review copy from:  Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists

25 thoughts on “Saving Max by Antoinette Van Heugten

    1. Hannah – yes! : D I am learning so much about Asperger’s through these books. It amazes me that I had not even heard of it until I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Now it seems I see books about it everywhere.

  1. I liked this one too! It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be about.

    I agree on the cover. I didn’t like the ARC cover because it looked just like the cover for Chasing Brooklyn (actually did a post about books with similar covers). It wasn’t long after that post that they released the new cover image lol

  2. I’m reading Saving Max and enjoying it. I asked for so I could learn more about autism. My boss has a grandson who has autism and I don’t know that much about the different variants. Thanks for the review.

  3. This sounds like it will be a goo book. Few people know just what parents of children with special needs go through. A good eye opener every once in a while is a good thing. Especially when wrapped in a good story.

  4. I could not put this book down. Although my son is doing well, there was a period of time that he had gotten into drugs and with that came rages and frustraton. He was diagnosed as Bipolar. He has been drug free for 5 years now and had been put on a mood stablizer. He weened himself off that medication because he felt he wasn’t bipolar and is so much happier and more focused than ever before. I’ve learned that we have to be our children’s advocate and often times they know what they are and aren’t. I admit, I was looking for a quick cure and for my son, it was rehab and then several years of taking lamictal before he said enough….he wanted to be drug free. There are those that do need medication and then those that are given meds and make things worse…that was my son’s case. SAVING MAX reminded me of my son’s struggles and the need for a parent to learn to know what is best for the child because as parents we know our children, warts and all.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s