The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg.

categorical

4 out of 5 stars.

As a tiny break, this is not a book I received an ARC of, and it is actually a slightly older one from 2014, but I love it so much I have to blog about it.

Candice is a junior high student with autism. She is functional, but understanding some human behaviour is difficult. Her parents are pretty good at explaining things but she could definitely use a friend her own age. Enter Douglas. He is convinced he is from another universe (he has an explanation that uses the word “quantum” a lot) but he is willing to be friends until he can get back to his own dimension. He makes daily attempts by jumping out of the tree in his backyard every day at noon. Besides this he is a pretty good friend. Candice also has a fish called Earth Pig Fish. She is worried that her fish thinks she is God and is trying to make him an atheist.

That last sentence pretty much gives you the tone of the book. It is completely and absolutely hilarious. The narrative voice is spot on and really conveys the confusion and bluntness of the character. She tries to jump off of a dock in order to repair her family (they would save her from drowning and celebrate by all being friends again) but she flails around and is eventually saved by the inflatable breasts that Douglas gave her for her birthday.  This book is so full of character and humour.

Candice is so realistic and relatable and this book is a huge amount of fun. I love the tangles and misunderstandings that come from her unique perspective on the human condition and I am going out to read something else from this author.

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