Friday, December 3, 2010

SAVING MAX by Antoinette van Heugten

Saving MaxSaving Max by Antoinette van Heugten

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(from Goodreads)

Max Parkman—autistic and whip-smart, emotionally fragile and aggressive—is perfect in his mother's eyes. Until he's accused of murder.
Attorney Danielle Parkman knows her teenage son Max's behavior has been getting worse—using drugs and lashing out. But she can't accept the diagnosis she receives at a top-notch adolescent psychiatric facility that her son is deeply disturbed. Dangerous.
Until she finds Max, unconscious and bloodied, beside a patient who has been brutally stabbed to death.
Trapped in a world of doubt and fear, barred from contacting Max, Danielle clings to the belief that her son is innocent. But has she, too, lost touch with reality? Is her son really a killer?
With the justice system bearing down on them, Danielle steels herself to discover the truth, no matter what it is. She'll do whatever it takes to find the killer and to save her son from being destroyed by a system that's all too eager to convict him.

OK, I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 ONLY because it wasn't about what I thought it was going to be about. It was still a very good book!

This book is about a woman (single mom, lawyer) Danielle, who has an autistic teenage son, Max. Danielle has been a very devoted mother to Max, trying to find something to help him. Taking him to different doctors and trying different medicines to make him more comfortable. Because as Max gets older he starts to experience more mood swings and it is harder for him to control himself.

Danielle does some research and finds Maitland Psychiatric Hospital. Maitland has high reviews and Danielle is hoping to take Max there to just get an evaluation of him. But what was supposed to be an easy week or two stay, turns out to be a long nightmare!

During the first week of Max's stay he gets into several altercations with another patient, Jonas. Danielle is shocked by this behavior and when the doctors try to talk to her about it and Max's diagnosis, she flips out. She can't believe what they are saying and refuses to listen to them. She demands to remove her son immediately from their facility and seek a second opinion, but the staff is expecting this and have already obtained a restraining order to prevent Danielle removing Max, let alone having any contact with him. They say this is for his own safety and others.

What follows after this is pretty tragic and shocking. Max is accused of murdering Jonas, the other patient and Danielle is arrested for aiding and abetting. As the hearing for whether or not Danielle's bond should be revoked or not until the court date (she is out on bond with an ankle monitor) takes place Danielle is out seeking evidence to clear Max's name.

What she discovers is purely shocking and outrageous! And to know that there are really people out there like this is just sickening!

View all my reviews


  1. So I have a question the author wrote on her website “My goal in writing Saving Max was not only to create an entertaining book,” she says, “but also to shed light on some of the misconceptions people have about the autism spectrum and to help other parents of children with autism know that they are not alone.”

    so what is your opinion? does she really talk about autism or just the aspect of how parents deal with this issue? Krista cubicleblindness

  2. Krista,

    Although I really enjoyed the book, I don't think the author really touched too much on either. It was more a murder mystery I thought.

    Have you read the book yet? If so, what did you think?