“Wow…” was all I could say to myself when I finished Karen Kingsbury’s novel Unlocked. I have previously reviewed a series by Karen called “The Bailey Flannigan Series” a month or so ago, and I have read a few books by her since then, but none of these books have made me feel so happy while reading it. There are few books that I have come across in my life that have made me feel entirely possessed by their words. Unlocked is easily one of the most impactful books I have read. I could NOT put it down. 320 pages and about 6 hours after opening the book, I read the last page and thought, “wow…” I had been trapped in my own little world during the entire reading experience. I could not believe I had been transformed into this world that Karen Kingsbury had created. The only problem is I now want MORE, MORE, MORE!

The story chronicles a friendship between two eighteen year old teens in high school. The girl: Ella Reynolds- a popular girl in school who loves theatre.

The boy: Holden Harris- a quiet kid who is trapped in his own world of autism.

Holden is non-communicative which means he doesn’t talk, respond, or touch anyone. However, he walks by the drama department one day as Ella is rehearsing for the school musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Ella takes notice of him. She asks if he can sit in on rehearsals. Ella’s generocity turns her and Holden’s worlds upsidedown as she realizes that they knew one another as children, before his autism took over. She takes a stand against Holden’s bullies, including her own boyfriend, Jake.

This book is powerful, life-changing, and beautifully written. It had me hanging on every word as if my own breath depended on it. Whether you know someone with autism, or have never had this experience, the book will teach the power of hope, love, friendship, loyalty and compassion. I recommend this book and it will live in my bookshelf for years to come.

Coming Soon: I just received my latest Karen Kingsbury novel “The Bridge” today! I will post a review as soon as I finish it.

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