Unlocked, the new young adult Novel by Karen Kingsbury, is a love story about a young woman and a young man with autism. This work fits into the genre of "Christian" romance- but with a new twist. The man that Ella falls in love with, is a young man with autism. Kingsbury is to be commended for her attempt at portraying autism in a positive light. Nevertheless, I find that the novel is a bit too idealistic, because in reality, young men and women who do have autism, often have other social, physical and personal qualities that many would find offensive rather than endearing. Nevertheless, keeping in mind that the targeted reader is a teenager, the idealism is appropriate.
This book is perfect for any young adult- with its high school characters and setting, it makes it easy for teen readers to relate. This book tackles some important issues- bringing them to the forfront: autism, bullying, and how special needs children impact families and marriages. This book introduces the ideas of empathy and puts a human face to people with disabilities. This book serves to educate the reader of the challanges of autism and how it affects every sphere of life. At the end of the book are some thought provoking discussion questions, making this a good choice for group study or for personal thought and journaling. As a blogger for Zondervan publishers, I recieved this book for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed are my own.