First I must admit that I am not a James Patterson fan. All you Patterson fans, please don't throw garbage at me. I know he has tons of avid readers and many people absolutely LOVE him. My mom being one of them. She is actually the one who asked me to get this book for her from library where I work. When the book came in, I saw that it was non-fiction and a memoir of sorts about a boy and his family dealing with, as was described on the book jacket, a medical mystery. Well that caught my attention, because I like books that deal with medical mysteries. Against Medical Advice was actually co-authored by the boy's father, Hal Friedman who is a published author himself and apparently has known James Patterson for twenty (or thirty years). Right there that made me suspicious. If Hal Friedman is an author why, exactly, did he need James Patterson to co-author this book? Being the cynic that I am, I assume it was to cash in on Patterson's fame and loyal readership. That kind of bugs me. But no matter, the subject matter was still interesting to me, so I read the book anyway.
The book was told from the perspective of Friedman's son, Cory, at the age of 17 years old. And this was a major drawback for me. It was told in such a simplistic and amateurish style that I just didn't enjoy the writing at all. Why not just let Cory write the book himself? It would have been more authentic that way. And the medical mystery...Tourette's with OCD! THAT'S a mystery? I don't think so. I will agree that Cory suffered from a very severe case of Tourette's which was exacerbated by the OCD. AND it did take a long time for him to get an accurate diagnosis and the right combination of drug therapies. And he certainly suffered during this process. BUT, to use Patterson's name and the guise of a mysterious medical condition to get people to read this book really annoys me. Especially since I was one of the many people to be duped. Did I like this book? No. Was it the story of a medical mystery that really intrigued me and kept me guessing? No. Do I feel sorry for Cory and his family. You bet. Do I feel aggravated that I was duped into reading a mediocre book by the trumped up content. Yes! Does it annoy me further that other readers will be further duped into reading it because Patterson (supposedly) wrote it. Yes, again. I think this would have been a much more honest book if Hal Friedman had just written a simple book about his son and his family's struggles with plain old Tourette's complicated by OCD. Would he have gotten as many readers? Absolutely not. Would I have more respect for him. Mostly certainly, I would.
Anita, I'm sorry I couldn't give you a more positive review of a book you're waiting to read. And I know (from your book list on your blog) that you are a Patterson fan. I hope this doesn't discourage you from reading this book, if you were really looking forward to it. This is just my opinion, afterall.