Title: “Colin Fischer”
Author: Edward Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz
Genre: YA, contemporary, tough stuff, mystery
Publication Date: November 1, 2012 (Razorbill/Penguin – North America)
Source: Traded-for ARC
Summary: SOLVING CRIME, ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION AT A TIME
Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.
But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate’s birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It’s up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin’s frequent tormenter, didn’t bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn’t have didn’t have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun…
Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and his story–as told by the screenwriters of X-Men: First Class and Thor–is perfect for readers who have graduated from Encyclopedia Brown and who are ready to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.
☆: 4/5 stars – a fun mystery and a refreshing look at autism within YA lit!
Review: To say I’m a fan of Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz’s work for television and film would be an understatement. Some of my most adored series and movies (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, “Fringe”, “Thor”, “X-Men: First Class”) have been at least partially written by them in some capacity or another. So when I found out about this book – about an Aspie boy no less – I was definitely intrigued. The difference in screenwriting and novel writing are bigger than most would think – in screenwriting, you get visual stage directions, letting the camera do all of the work for you. In a novel, you have to write every single part of that sensory input out because you don’t have a camera doing that work for you. I have friends that are screenwriters, and some of their biggest issues that I’ve found while reading their manuscripts have been with sensory language and input because of them being so used to relying on stage directions/the camera to do some of the most important work for them in a novel. Which I should say, isn’t a bad thing, just a common issue. So I was a little anxious to see how Miller and Stentz would do on a non-visual medium with their impressive writing skills.
I wasn’t disappointed. Not in the least. If anything, I was really surprised at how well the two did. And that’s always a happy thing. “Colin Fischer” has been pitched as a “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” for the YA set – and I have to say, while that’s accurate, I found this book to be happily more equally balanced between Fischer’s issues continuing to adjust to being mainstreamed (I’ll go into that later) and to finding out more about the mystery presented before him with the gun and the cake. Miller and Stentz did a fantastic job from this Aspie girl’s POV, so it’s definitely one contemporary YA book I’m proud to have in my library.