Odd Girl Out is an account written by Laura James of what it was like growing up feeling different to the neurotypical world around her, yet not making sense of this until many years later when she was diagnosed as being autistic in her forties. It’s written in a diary-format, between August 2015 (when she was first diagnosed) and December 2016, with flashbacks before these dates, allowing us to gain insight into her previous relationships and life to understand her current situation better.
I really enjoyed reading this book and found it interesting and informative, especially as someone who only knows a little bit about autism. Throughout, Laura writes about her personal experience but incorporates various experts’ opinions – especially with reference to female autism and how and why this “differs” from the “stereotypical” autism which is usually associated with males. It is an honest account – not sparing any of the details of the times that Laura has struggled, but I think this makes it a very powerful and fundamental book to read to grasp an understanding of how hard it can be to be autistic in a neurotypical world, especially when you do not have a diagnosis of the right support available.
I would highly recommend this book, whether you have a particularly interest in autism or not. It’s informative, yet gives a brilliant insight into how having autism affects your everyday life, but should not be seen as a way to define yourself or looked down upon. It sums it up perfectly when Laura says “I am a cat, judging myself by dog behaviour” and reflects how we should all try a little harder to accommodate those with autism, rather than the huge surge in interest there has been to try and find a “cure”. It’s clear Laura is very successful in what she does and I hope this book gives hope to those who have autism, that although there are times when there might be struggles, we are all different (and for very good reasons!) and should therefore encourage and celebrate the skills we have! A fantastic read!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*