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A heartbreaking debut YA romance featuring a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history and the chronically ill boy trying to break the vault encasing her heart.
Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy.
If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home.
All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway.
Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about.
Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all.
About the Author
A . J . Steiger has lived her entire life in the Chicagoland area. Cathedral of Bones is her first book for middle grade readers, and she is also the author of the young adult book When My Heart Joins the Thousand.
“A gorgeous love story of depth and raw emotion that beautifully dismantles the ugly perceptions of autism.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Alvie’s] meltdowns and behavioral quirks add dimension to what is a fully realized portrayal of a person living with Asperger’s... This is a love story that could also appeal to adult readers. Their love is hard-fought and deservedly earned.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“At last! A.J. Steiger’s When My Heart Joins the Thousand offers a love story between two atypical characters with breathtaking honesty about all the messy aspects of real love—sex, compatibility, trust, and most of all, honesty.”
— Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will