I read this one for my good reads challenge. The category was a book mentioned in the Rory Gilmore challenge. This also would have satisfied the category of a book about mental illness.
The main character, a 15 year old boy named Christopher, most definitely falls somewhere on the autistic spectrum. The story starts out with the death of a dog and Christopher's desire to find out who killed him. Christopher admires Sherlock Holmes and spends much of the book discussing Sherlock and at times comparing himself to the fictional character.
I enjoyed the first part of the book where Christopher is doing his detective work. I could relate to him and his idiosyncrasies. I even laughed, on occasion at his ability to out logic the adults. But this book isn't a funny story and it really isn't about solving the murder of a dog.
What it is about are a families struggles to deal with a family member who has challenges. I hated Christopher's mother. I didn't understand her at all. I couldn't exactly like his father either. In fact, my favorite character, other than Christopher and his rat, Toby, was the elderly neighbor lady.
Once the story moved into it's second phase - with Christopher on the train to London - the story began to drag. I loved the first half but the second half left me cold and wanting. I suspected years ago, based on the title that this would not be a book that I enjoyed. But so many talked and talked about it and then with needing it for my reading challenge, I decided to give it a try. I should have left well enough alone. I gave it three stars because I really did like Christopher.