The author Matthew Kenslow was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was six years old. In his book Juggling the Issues Kenslow recalls events from his life and how his condition has affected his life. Whilst candid about the struggles he has gone through, he also highlights the positive advantages of having Asperger’s.
The book is made up of vignettes; essentially it is a collection of short stories from Kenslow’s life, and he even mentions near the beginning that the chapters can be read in any order. This makes the book a less traditional autobiography and much more little snippets of someone’s life. The structure was very effective, as each chapter contained a new event or situation that Kenslow is faced with, the reader is never bored. The different chapters never bled into each other or became indistinct; they were different enough that they kept you entertained. Admittedly, there were a couple of passages that I felt could have been longer – perhaps because I was enjoying myself too much and didn’t want the chapter to end – but certainly the layout helped make this an entertaining read.
Yet, ultimately the biggest positive of the book is Matthew himself. As mentioned beforehand, he is incredibly candid throughout the narrative, and never shies away from discussing the negative aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome. But his honesty and self-reflection is what drives the book, and I see as the main highlight. The book is an honest look at life with the condition, and Kenslow never sugar-coats anything. Despite this, I found Juggling the Issues quite an up-lifting read. Watching Kenslow work on the problems he has and excelling in different fields, but always maintaining a sense of positivity and self-confidence, was both entertaining and inspiring.
Overall, Juggling the Issues: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a frank, revealing account of living with the condition, highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of it. The book’s main strength comes from its writer; Matthew is an entertaining narrator and successfully captures the different moments of his life. If you would like to know about Asperger’s Syndrome then Juggling the Issues is the book for you.
Juggling the Issues: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome is published independently and you can find more information here.
This book was kindly given by the author and Booktasters to review.