Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book Review: "Unlocked" by Karen Kingsbury

I post my book reviews a little differently. Instead of creating another summary of the novel in my words, I post the back cover blurb, what I liked about the book, what I disliked about the book, and final comments. Every book has it's pros and cons, and I will be reviewing from my point of view - based on my opinions, my taste, and the author's writing style.

The novel I'm going to review today is "Unlocked" by Karen Kingsbury in honor of "World Autism Awareness" day today.

Back Cover Blurb:

"Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal---on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the 'in' crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him ... the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery---she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.”

What I Liked:

Well-rounded, believable characters and dialogue. Honestly I couldn’t put this one down. “Unlocked” is very moving, inspiring, uplifting—especially to those who has a child struggling with autism. I love Kingsbury’s writing style and the metaphors that she used to describe Holden’s situation throughout the entire story. Holden’s point of view was very convincing as well—his thoughts, his actions—it was almost like being inside of an autistic teen’s brain. Although this novel is fiction, it reminds us that God can do miracles even when our circumstances seem absolutely hopeless.

What I Disliked:

The beginning was a bit depressing and slow, but eventually everything picked up and it honestly became a challenge for me to put down. The story was a bit predictable, but there were a few surprises along the way.

Final Comments:

Overall, “Unlocked” by Karen Kingsbury is a novel that I would recommend to any age. This is the first book that I’ve read by Karen Kingsbury but it will definitely not be the last.

Have any of you read "Unlocked"?
Do you think the author did a nice job at portraying the struggle that autism brings?
What did you think about the plot, the themes conveyed, the writing style, etc.?

PS: There will be no posts Monday through Friday due to my spring break. See you guys Monday, April 11th!


  1. I would like to read this book and have my teen son and daughter read it. Their brother is 10 yo and has autism. It is a real challenge for all of us. They need inspiration :)
    Thanks alot for reviewing this book.

  2. This was one of my very favorite books by Karen Kingsbury! thanks for sharing :]


Thanks for stopping by my blog!