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Saving Max
Saving Max
Author: Antoinette van Heugten
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...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780778329633
ISBN-10: 0778329631
Publication Date: 9/28/2010
Pages: 376
Edition: Original
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 76 ratings
Publisher: MIRA
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

CherryDuck avatar reviewed Saving Max on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a really easy book to get hooked on. Within the first chapter I found myself finding it hard to put this book down. I love books that make you bargain with yourself on how many more pages you will allow yourself to read before you get back to the real world, and this was one of those books. I also found myself breaking all those bargains to read just one more chapter.

The author gives you a glimpse into the life of a single mother of a special needs child. The struggles she faces with a demanding career and a son who needs a whole lot of her time and attention. This is not just a thriller, or a murder mystery, but a story about family. The author tells a tale that both horrifies and humbles. The story is filled with characters that range from the deeply disturbed to the completely devoted.

This book would have easily been a 5 star book, had it not been for Danielles detective disasters. I found myself getting so mad at how much she got away with in the courtroom and with all her illegally obtained evidence, that it was raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels. I realize that this is a work of fiction, but it got pretty unbelievable at the end at times. Had the author stayed more true to life in that regard, this book would have been practically perfect. As it is, Perry Mason-esque courtroom scenes aside, it was pretty damn good.

Cherise Everhard, October 2010
reviewed Saving Max on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Enjoyed this - lots of court room drama, written by a lawyer. Only thing I didn't like was last chapter when the author put in a gory description of the murder scene. Seemed like this was too much and not necessary.
punkeymonkey529 avatar reviewed Saving Max on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. It felt real, and kept me on the edge of my seat at so many times.
Max Parkman is an autistic boy a high functioning autistic boy. After a downward spiral Danielle, Max's mother brings him to the best mental facility in the country to try and sold the issue for his outburst and suicidal tendencies.
While at the hospital some things start not going so smoothly. Danielle steps in to sold what's going on. The hospital refuses to release information on how they are treating Max. After some investigation she decides to take Max out of the facility. They wont allow it. Shortly afterwards a murder occurs with another client at the facility, Max is left to blame, convinced her son is innocent she goes on a search jumping through hoops of all sorts to prove his innocence.
I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say the ending left me shocked. I did start to guess something along the lines of who committed the murder,but like how it ended. I don't think this will spoil anything, but I can't wait for a sequel.
cupcake42 avatar reviewed Saving Max on
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutley Loved this book. My cousin (who is also part of this website) read it before i did and let me borrow it. It had me interested within the first few chapters and i found myself reading for hours just to find out what would happen next. The disturbing twists and courtroom action kept me on the edge of my seat and the fact that all ended well was the icing on the cake.

Definatley recommmend!
reviewed Saving Max on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really had problems with the tense this book was written in. Also, I didn't feel conected with the characters. Now that I have that out of my system, the plot was good. The old cliche of "twists and turns" fits. I bought this book thinking it was going to be a 5-star. I can only give it a 3.5 because I was curious enough to finish it.
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reviewed Saving Max on
This story was too predictable. I read about half of it, then put it down.
buzzby avatar reviewed Saving Max on + 6062 more book reviews
Unsatisfying conclusion
babyjulie avatar reviewed Saving Max on + 336 more book reviews
(taken from my goodreads.com account)

I don't think I've ever been able to say this about a book before but I can actually agree with much of what is said in numerous positive and negative reviews here on GR about Saving Max.
If I was going to point anyone toward this it would be Picoult readers. But I'd also give them fair warning - this isn't as good as Picoult's books. It's on the way and it's very apparent that van Heugten has talent for sure. But she's not there yet IMO.
A few of the problems with the story were the timeline towards the end, in the last quarter or so. There's a real stressful time period where things need to happen and miraculously Danielle always manages to do everything in time. Even when that means boarding a plane, flying to a different state, leaving the airport and getting to someones home - all while her companion uses the restroom back in the first airport. It didn't fit because said companion wouldn't have waited hours before calling Danielle. This type of scenario played out a few times, in differing ways of course.
I also felt interrupted in the story when Danielle managed to do things that just can't be conceivably done in this day and age. No normal Mother (a non-criminal, non-hacking Mother that is, which is supposed to be Danielle) can just decide to break into the country's top psychiatric hospital and also do so successfully. It's just not plausible. And she does it with ease. She gets in, she gets past nurses and guards, she gets past cameras, it's all too much. That really did a number on me personally.
I also feel like it was a tad too long. My trade paperback copy is 376 pages and off the top of my head I'd say the story could have been pared down some 76 or so pages.
Some of the positives about the book are the ending, the characters, and Max himself. Max is a pretty strong semi-main character IMO even though at times he's the weakest link in the chain. The ending is hard. It's not the happiest ending in the world. I expected, even though I don't normally like when this happens, everything to be nice and tied up by the end. It's not. Well, some is, but there's at least one pretty big aspect of the story left wide open. I know a lot of people don't like this. I happen to enjoy that sometimes and this is one of those times. It just makes it all the more realistic to me since life isn't all happy-go-lucky by the end of the song. As angry as it makes me that so-and-so didn't get caught in this book or that such-and-such didn't happen in that book, I still prefer this manner of ending over a happy ending much of the time.
I didn't realize Saving Max was going to revolve around Munchausen's'. That surprised me somewhat but the author did a good job tying it in and still making the reader feel like they knew right where it was going.
I definitely think that with time and practice van Heugten will climb up the ladder of success. No one can know if she'll get to Picoult's level (she's standing a foot above the top rung IMO) but anythings possible.


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