The Boy Who Loved Too Much
The poignant story of a boy’s coming-of-age complicated by Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that makes people biologically incapable of distrust.What would it be like to see everyone as a friend? Twelve-year-old Eli D’Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting, and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. Eli lacks the innate skepticism that will help his peers navigate adolescence more safely—and vastly more successfully.Journalist Jennifer Latson follows Eli over three critical years of his life as his mother, Gayle, must decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world and its dangers or give him the freedom to find his own way and become his own person.By intertwining Eli and Gayle’s story with the science and history of Williams syndrome, the book explores the genetic basis of behavior and the quirks of human nature. More than a case study of a rare disorder, however, The Boy Who Loved Too Much is a universal tale about the joys and struggles of raising a child, of growing up, and of being different.

The Boy Who Loved Too Much Details

TitleThe Boy Who Loved Too Much
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJun 20th, 2017
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN1476774048
ISBN-139781476774046
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, Education, Female Authors

The Boy Who Loved Too Much Review

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    May 31, 2017
    I have a weakness for non-fiction that talks about tough topics. I spot a book about disability, being different, diversity, suffering, all that stuff... I click buy. Request. Read. That's just who I am. Come on, does the cover not already capture you? How could someone love too much? How can there be too much love??? (If the GIFs don’t load, read this post here on my blog)These questions are easily answered within the first few pages of the book. It's not even fictional, although the ti I have a weakness for non-fiction that talks about tough topics. I spot a book about disability, being different, diversity, suffering, all that stuff... I click buy. Request. Read. That's just who I am. Come on, does the cover not already capture you? How could someone love too much? How can there be too much love??? (If the GIFs don’t load, read this post here on my blog)These questions are easily answered within the first few pages of the book. It's not even fictional, although the title may mislead you! The story told belongs to Eli, a boy who was born quite different from most little boys. So special, that he's the only such person in a group of 10,000 to 20,000 his fellow countrymen (Americans, in this case). Eli has Williams syndrome and he pretty much represents a lost branch of humanity, one that just didn't make it genetically (because Williams is a genetic disorder), but one that nonetheless continues, for the diversity of our genetic material. If we want to survive, we must have a bit of everything in our collective genes every now and then. So what does it mean to have Williams? It means that your brain is wired in such a way that makes you basically fall in love with any person you see. You trust everyone. You erect no boundaries between yourself and the world. All of this sounds like the dream from a New Age self-helf book, doesn't it? Indeed, but... With one small, but crucial difference. If you self-helped your way into loving and trusting everyone, you know where to stop. Eli does not. So yes, Eli could totally walk away with that creepy dude in the mall. And he would probably give all his money to someone if they promised to be his friend. Because what people with Williams crave so much is love , unconditional love – like the kind of love they give. But they rarely get it. Because we don't often love people who are different. We're not wired to. And this is the thing that will make you marvel, that will make you cry for Eli and others with Williams, and that will still make you slightly jealous of who they are. This is also the part of the story that will make you wonder whether we're the right part of humanity that survived. Yes, I believe the world would be better if everyone was like Eli, but unfortunately, this harsh universe is tough for people with Williams, and not just because of society. You don't just go hug a tiger that wants to eat you. (You can say that to someone next time they shove the you the "if everyone was ascended" crap.)[image error]So basically, this book will give you a lot to think about. It will not leave you unmoved. And the most important thing – even if it's astronomically unlikely you will ever meet a person with Williams, you will now know how to interpret what's going on . And I think that is why all of us should read books like this. This world isn't made for the winners, like the media and the current narrative wants you to believe. This world is made for everyone. And we must understand that if there were no people with lower IQ, there would also not be any geniuses. Science, people:(And yes, people with Williams often suffer from lower IQ and spatial recognition problems, as well as some physical disorders)My blogging career actually started with reviewing My Heart Can't Even Believe It – it's a book about a girl with Down's syndrome. It taught me a lot, and it was also my first review that garnered unheard of attention for me back then (a whopping 14 likes. Go figure! We all gotta start somewhere...)It kicked off my desire to write reviews about things that matter. So I carried on with The Radium Girls , and now – with The Boy Who Loved Too Much. I believe that all of us should read more about these things. It's not alright to just cover your eyes and say "but I'm normal". It's not good enough. So let's be better. Let's educate ourselves. Three words:#diversity #disability #equalityAnd I leave you with these recommendations if you want to read more about related topics (the last one is not about disability, and I have yet to read it, but an important topic nonetheless): Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
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  • Mischenko
    February 13, 2017
    The Boy Who Loved Too Much by Jennifer Latson is a true story about a boy living with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder. Williams Syndrome is quite rare and causes those affected to be born socially fearless, among a few other ailments. The book takes you through Eli's childhood up through high school. He's cared for by his mother Gayle and there are many struggles along the way. I was amazed by Gayle's tremendous courage. Up until now, I didn't know much about Williams Syndrome. I found the The Boy Who Loved Too Much by Jennifer Latson is a true story about a boy living with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder. Williams Syndrome is quite rare and causes those affected to be born socially fearless, among a few other ailments. The book takes you through Eli's childhood up through high school. He's cared for by his mother Gayle and there are many struggles along the way. I was amazed by Gayle's tremendous courage. Up until now, I didn't know much about Williams Syndrome. I found the genetic aspects fascinating. This is a great book for parents or caregivers of those living with Williams Syndrome, and for anyone wanting to learn more about it.Thanks to Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen
    June 22, 2017
    Before this true story caught my eye, I’d never heard of Williams syndrome. The condition is described as a “cocktail party syndrome that makes people socially fearless”. The human body and brain functions are amazing yet many like me don’t often give them a second thought.Caused by the absence of “twenty-six genes from one strand of chromosome 7”, this genetic fluke exposes itself in odd ways in what is estimated to be 1 in 10,000 people. Thanks to Jennifer Latson for sharing this very personal Before this true story caught my eye, I’d never heard of Williams syndrome. The condition is described as a “cocktail party syndrome that makes people socially fearless”. The human body and brain functions are amazing yet many like me don’t often give them a second thought.Caused by the absence of “twenty-six genes from one strand of chromosome 7”, this genetic fluke exposes itself in odd ways in what is estimated to be 1 in 10,000 people. Thanks to Jennifer Latson for sharing this very personal story of a teenaged boy named Eli and his mother, Gayle. Eli has this rare genetic disorder. There are numerous symptoms but the most obvious one is that he immediately sees everyone he meets as a friend and has no natural ability to separate kindness from cruelty. I admire caregivers like Eli’s mother, Gayle, a single mom juggling multiple balls in the air to come to terms with what it means to be the mother of such a special child. I sympathized with her as she navigates to keep Eli safe, tempering his coming-of-age social impulses yet giving him enough freedom to access normal teenage social activities. This meticulously researched book was eye-opening and fascinating.
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  • Care
    February 28, 2017
    The Boy Who Loved Too Much is an astoundingly intimate and in-depth look at the relationship between a single mother and son who has Williams syndrome. As much about Gayle and Eli D'Angelo's personal stories as the science of the genetic disorder itself, the book also explores how individuals with intellectual and other disabilities live in and are treated by institutions in the U.S.Eli was diagnosed with Williams syndrome at a young age after he failed to reach some developmental goals and pres The Boy Who Loved Too Much is an astoundingly intimate and in-depth look at the relationship between a single mother and son who has Williams syndrome. As much about Gayle and Eli D'Angelo's personal stories as the science of the genetic disorder itself, the book also explores how individuals with intellectual and other disabilities live in and are treated by institutions in the U.S.Eli was diagnosed with Williams syndrome at a young age after he failed to reach some developmental goals and presented with the typical physical manifestations of the condition. The book covers a three years' of intimate and detailed interviews of Eli and his mom Gayle's life. Told as a story of his life interspersed with technical details of the science and governmental policies surrounding the disorder. And while the main subject topic of the book is Williams syndrome, at the heart of the story is the relationship between a mother and a son and how they grow together and independently. The Boy Who Loved Too Much is an emotionally touching and heartrending tale that is very well-written. The topic is covered with respect, and while it does not shy away from the tough topics like puberty and the physical aspects of Eli's condition, it is a book filled with warmth and care. An obvious product of hours of interviews and research, the book is thorough and easy to digest, even for readers not from a scientific background. I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants to learn more about Williams syndrome, what it's like to raise a child with special needs, and how institutions are (or fail to be) accommodating for these individuals. Additionally, the book presents some excellent advice on how to treat both individuals with special needs and their caregivers with respect and kindness. Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for a fair review!
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  • Meghan
    January 3, 2017
    Edelweiss ebook ARC - publication date June 2017.Fascinating look at Williams Syndrome - a genetic condition affecting 1 in 10,000 people in which a handful of genes are deleted from a chromosome. Features of the condition include developmental delays and health problems, but also highly social personalities, verbal skills, and musical ability. Following 12-year-old Eli and his mom Gayle over the course of several years, this is an indictment of our health care system and a society which makes i Edelweiss ebook ARC - publication date June 2017.Fascinating look at Williams Syndrome - a genetic condition affecting 1 in 10,000 people in which a handful of genes are deleted from a chromosome. Features of the condition include developmental delays and health problems, but also highly social personalities, verbal skills, and musical ability. Following 12-year-old Eli and his mom Gayle over the course of several years, this is an indictment of our health care system and a society which makes it almost impossible for the parents of children with special needs to keep from drowning in medical debt and working to exhaustion as caregivers to their kids. I was impressed by the author's ability to articulate Gayle's fears and worries about Eli - his trusting nature and childlike demeanor as he enters puberty and high school make him vulnerable in many ways. Gayle also has a lot of family support while raising Eli as a single mother, and she also is able to treasure and appreciate him, even as she feels isolated from others because of the challenges she faces. The author also explains genetics in a way that was interesting and reminded me of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in its ability to intersperse science with a more personal narrative.
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  • Marika
    January 8, 2017
    This is the coming of age story of Eli D'Angelo, but unlike any other of this genre. Eli was born with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder that removes any social skepticism. Eli believes everyone is his friend (even dangerous types) and this sadly makes him a target to danger. The chapters alternate between Eli's story and the history/research of Williams Syndrome, which is often called the opposite of autism.I read an advance copy and was not compensated.
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  • Cat
    January 23, 2017
    This was an interesting book. I'd ever heard of Williams Syndrome before and found the story of Eli fascinating. His mother, Gayle, seems very loving and supportive of his son. It must be challenging to raise a child like Eli. I'm thinking this book will be very insightful for those parents whose children have Williams syndrome and their families, as well.
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  • Gretel
    February 28, 2017
    I initially shelved this in "science." But, it really isn't. And perhaps had I not had the expectation of there being a more scientific approach to the story, I might have loved it more. First and foremost, it is a biography of Eli and his mother.As a story of Eli, it's slightly heart wrenching and quite a fast read. My biggest complaint was that the story did not (and could not due to his actual age) follow Eli into adulthood. The story felt unfinished. I would not have expected a birth to deat I initially shelved this in "science." But, it really isn't. And perhaps had I not had the expectation of there being a more scientific approach to the story, I might have loved it more. First and foremost, it is a biography of Eli and his mother.As a story of Eli, it's slightly heart wrenching and quite a fast read. My biggest complaint was that the story did not (and could not due to his actual age) follow Eli into adulthood. The story felt unfinished. I would not have expected a birth to death biography -- but when discussing the hurdles of a special needs child, the time of transition into adulthood should be discussed.As an Autism mother myself, it was fascinating to see vast differences in the parenting experience right alongside experiences profoundly similar to my own.I definitely learned from this book and am grateful I received an opportunity from netgalley to read it.
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  • Clare
    June 29, 2017
    .I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not just interesting to people who want to know more about Williams Syndrome but to anyone who would like a kinder and more inclusive society.
  • Jean Brazil
    June 23, 2017
    Very good nonfiction book about Williams syndrome. It follows a single mother and her son with Williams for several years. Chapters alternated between factual information about the syndrome and biographical details of this family.
  • Kari
    May 21, 2017
    The Boy Who Loved Too Much is narrative journalism at its finest. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the book weaves scientific background into a compelling true story. Unlike Henrietta Lacks, here there is no author intrusion. Latson was a fly on the wall during the tumultuous coming of age for Eli, a boy with Williams syndrome. The little-known syndrome is sometimes called the opposite of autism. Those who have it suffer from being too friendly, too expressive, and too trusting. Eli's The Boy Who Loved Too Much is narrative journalism at its finest. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the book weaves scientific background into a compelling true story. Unlike Henrietta Lacks, here there is no author intrusion. Latson was a fly on the wall during the tumultuous coming of age for Eli, a boy with Williams syndrome. The little-known syndrome is sometimes called the opposite of autism. Those who have it suffer from being too friendly, too expressive, and too trusting. Eli's ebullient personality comes alive on the page, making it impossible not to root for him. But his vulnerability and intellectual disability put him at risk. His single mother, Gayle, must be constantly vigilant, rarely letting Eli out of her sight. Her frustration is relatable as she struggles to come to terms with Eli's diagnosis and strives to provide the best possible life for him. All parents will be able to appreciate the challenges of keeping their children safe and learning to overcome the shame that follows inevitable public meltdowns. The book also will captivate anyone interested in genetics, science, and/or immersive journalism.
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  • Bibi
    March 30, 2017
    An interesting story. I had never heard of Williams' syndrome, and this book does a great job of explaining what it is and how it affects the people that have it as well as their families.**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
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