A Sensory Book Review: ‘Baking for Dave’

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I have managed to finish the book ‘Baking for Dave’ (see my previous blog post – I’m known for my slow reading and slow processing speed so apologises for the wait!) so here is my book review…

Okay so firstly let me give you a little background in terms of the characters and storyline. The book is centred around a young girl called Iris Heller. Iris is 15 years old and has Sensory Processing Disorder. She finds it hard to cope with the outside world and becomes easily overwhelmed by lots of things such as loud noises, new places, meeting people, ordering at restaurants and changes in the weather.

Iris has coping mechanisms she uses in these situations such as humming, beatboxing, and making musical contraptions out of items around her. Iris lives with her mum Maisy but the book focuses on her quest to compete in a national bake-off contest. It’s the getting there that proves challenging though…

I don’t want to spoil the book incase you’d like to read it but below is a brief story description of the book taken from Amazon:

Iris Heller runs away to compete in a national bake-off contest. In order to get there, she “borrows” her mum’s car, travels through several states, and does the most terrifying thing of all — interacts with actual people! Iris has never been like other girls, but she’s not about to start letting that get in the way.

Iris has this profound fascination for the musician Dave Matthews, and she feels a compelling need to compete in the bake-off for Dave. It is this talent that gets noticed at several road stops along the way, which leads to her inevitable “gone viral” glory. At a donut shop, Iris sings like an angel. At a coffee shop, she plays a symphony using cups and the soda fountain. At a restaurant, she builds a glorious musical fountain out of dishes and pans. 

Iris’ mum (Maisy) and her best friend Eric set out to find Iris. All lives converge at Happy World, the Disney-esque paradise, where the bake-off takes place…

This book is absolutely ideal for anybody to read whether you have or know somebody with Sensory Processing Disorder or not! Also brilliant if you know someone who is a little bit sensory or autistic so I highly recommend to parents, carers, guardians, teachers, therapists and everyone in between.

I will be honest and say that I found it hard to read sometimes because of the sensory things mentioned so I stuck to reading it in small chunks and often. Iris tackles the most terrifying thing of all – interacting with new people along her journey. What I love about Iris is that although she is not like other girls, she doesn’t once let her sensory problems get in the way of her ambitions. Her family, friends and even new people she meets along her journey do their very best to try and accommodate her quirks and understand her more deeply which really was refreshing to read.

I was worried about how the book would end (what can I say, I hate a sad or happy ending I get emotional either way!) but this book surprised me by ending (no spoilers promise) in just the right way and it tied everything together nicely.

So what did I think overall? I saw so much of myself in Iris’s character. The way she struggles with new environments and forgets to breathe is a bit like me too! I learnt a lot from the main character actually, she comes across as the most genuine kind-hearted girl who brings the best out of the world and situations around her without knowing it. Despite the fact her life has been one of isolation and misunderstanding, she really does find out just how much she is loved in the end – definitely worth a read!

Buy a copy of the book in the UK here and in the US here

Note: I was given this review copy of the book free (which was super kind) but everything I have written really is my honest opinion ☺️

 

200 Blog Posts!

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My last post discussing being sensational was my 200th post on my blog! I also now have over 260 subscribed followers of my blog so I thought I would take the opportunity to thank everyone for following – it means a lot that people actually read what I say and I absolutely love reading the emails and comments I get.

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter and Instagram: @21andsensory

Sensory & Alcohol

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This blog post has been in the pipeline for a while for a number of different reasons…

  1. It’s something I’ve always wanted to cover in more detail on my blog.
  2. It’s something that seems to be affecting me since I was 18.
  3. It’s something that continues to frustrate me.

Alcohol.

I don’t understand why I (or anyone else) should ‘have’ to drink to fit in.

I don’t understand why if I don’t drink I’m seen as being a ‘party pooper’ or ‘no fun’.

I don’t like the taste of alcohol. I could quite easily live in a world without it. But since having a boyfriend I feel I have had to introduce myself to alcohol so that I can fit in more and act my age. I am able to drink Malibu and Coke, Pimms and Archers with Lemonade.

I find it hard enough to cope in a busy, noisy, party-like environment as it is – I don’t need alcohol to mess with my thinking and senses further. I am aware drinking can somewhat ‘dull’ a persons senses but I really don’t think dulling my senses is a good idea… and even if it was, the feeling wouldn’t last forever and I’d be back to square one.

I like soft drinks. I am happy with them. I know what they taste like. I know what to expect. I know they aren’t too strong or weird tasting. They actually provide comfort especially when given to me in an unusual and unfamiliar environment.

Friends and family members continue to offer me alcohol because I am 22 and ‘it’s the done thing’. They know I’m not mad on alcohol but still offer me wine,etc. I appreciate when people buy me alcohol such as Malibu and coke because they know I like it. I also appreciate that people forget I don’t like alcohol when they ask me what I’m drinking or other questions.

Do you drink alcohol or not? How do you feel about the subject? Feel free to discuss in the comments below…