When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger
Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Source: ARC from
RATING: 5 Stars
This is one of those books that upon finishing it, I hugged it tightly to my chest. And I know that it is undoubtably one of the best books of 2018 and I wish more people were talking about it! The author had me fall in love with her characters, care greatly for their journey and put me through every emotion possible. It was both movingly beautiful and painfully heartbreaking. If you read When My Heart Joins The Thousand, and let me be clear I recommend it to everyone, you will know what I mean.
The main character, Alvie is a foster child who lives independently while pursuing emancipation. Her fear is that she will be placed in a group home if the judge decides her Aspergers means she is incapable of being a functioning member of society. I can’t speak for the rep in this book, and there’s a lot, (mental health, abuse, disability, autism) but I think it was done well and handled respectfully. Like I said, this book makes you feel the whole rainbow of emotions. I felt love and admiration for Alvie because she never gives up despite all she’s been through. I was angry for her, at the broken system that failed her and must fail people in real life. I was disgusted actually, that society expected her to “get better” and be “normal”. But I also felt a lot of happy, especially every time Alvie did something outside her comfort zone, she is a truly inspiring character.
People with Aspergers tend to be blunt and so was the writing, in a way I think more YA should be. Teens don’t only need flowery stories of happy ever after, they need real stories that reflect the lives they live every day. Alvie doesn’t always understand sarcasm or societies way of constantly putting on a show. For example, when she has to attend court she can’t understand why a suit, instead of jeans and a t-shirt, helps prove her ability to be independent. And she’s right. I could relate to that. The characters are also very frank and honest about sex – this is so important for YA! Communication was clear, consent was there. Thank you, A J Steiger, for writing about two teens who handled sex in a very healthy way. This is what I would want my teenager to read.
Let it be known, the writing and pacing and all that important jazz were good. But I won’t talk about that in detail because more importantly, this book moved me. It is rare that a book makes me feel all the feels I did with this one AND I still think about it almost daily. I can’t tell you the last time a book impacted me like this.
I gave this book all the stars.
Go read it.
Thank you for reading my review of When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger, and also to Harper Collins for this review opportunity. I hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.