Book Review: How to be Autistic by Charlotte Amelia Poe

I’ve had a problem recently where I start reading a book but can’t finish it. Not with this book though! I just couldn’t put it down until I had the whole book read. That is such a good feeling.

I also have a confession to make. I do not normally enjoy poetry. Which is odd as my mom makes her living from writing poems. But the poetry interspersed between the chapters in this book really caught me. Moved me. The only other poetry that’s done that is that of Kae Temple. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

I have a lot in common with Charlotte. Both autistic. Both unrecognised as such for all of our childhoods. Both non-binary and petite. We are even the same height! There are also obvious differences, as there always are, but the commonalities draw me in. And the writing makes me stay. She really does have a great talent for writing and I hope to read more of it in the future.

This book is a memoir. But it’s also a call-to-arms. And I can see it as being a lifeline to those just barely hanging on, who think they just can’t take another day of living as autistic in a neurotypical world. And to those people, I will leave you with the final words in this book: “For me, this is the beginning of a beginning. I hope it is for you too. You will survive. You will. I promise. After all, you are fucking cosmic.”

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