This review does not contain spoilers! Please keep them out of the comments as well.
Title: The Way to Bea
Author: Kay Yeh
Marketing Effort: 2 (a bit less than average)
About half-way through this book, I stood and stared at the front cover. Despite Will not liking mazes, that’s all I could see thanks to the one blind alley. The fact that it’s a perfect maze struck me, but if I went further, we’d be dancing near spoiler territory, so I’ll just say it’s a fitting cover for the twists and turns (and blind alleys) Bea faces in this book.
Middle school sucks. It’s a hyped time of hormones and friendship-destruction. As a 6th grader, my elementary circle of friends fell apart. While not as dramatic as what happened to Bea as I never had ‘a Person,’ the emotional exhaustion and self-doubt described in this book are such an exact description of what I felt then that I couldn’t help but mourn this book not existing. It would have helped the young me. Honestly, the lingering self-doubt never really goes away, so I still found it like releasing a breath after holding it a bit too long.
I also adored the portrayal of autism in this book. It’s subtle, and the character involved isn’t mitigated to just being ‘that autistic kid.’ With so many well-rounded and diverse characters, I can’t possibly say how much I adore this book. The Way to Bea is going on my shelf of ‘adored books.’