When My Heart Joins The Thousand’ Review: A Moving Novel


Photo courtesy of Kimberly Rascon Molina

Reading in the library Senior Haley Weeks is enjoying one of the new novels that was recently added to the library.

An expected love story that brings two teens with disabilities together by sharing their relatable hardships with each other

When My Heart Joins The Thousand | Author A.J. Steiger | Publisher HarperTeen | Page count 352 | A heartbreaking debut young adult fiction |

“When My Heart Joins The Thousand,” A.J. Steiger’s sneak peek into the life of a neurodivergent young woman named Alvie Fitz. Alvie has Asperger’s syndrome which causes major struggles in Alvie’s life.

The novel begins with Alvie Fitz in a park. Located down the street from her apartment to get away from the intense smell that comes from her building. Her daily life usually consists of gas station food, bi-weekly meetings with her social worker and her full time job at the local zoo in her town.

As the novel progresses, Steiger introduces a second main character named Stanley. Stanley is a very kind young man with a bone disease that causes him to walk with a cane.

Alvie and Stanley start to grow a relationship after Alvie spots Stanley in the park throwing his phone at the ground and almost completely breaking it after what seems like a frustrating conversation. Once he walked away Alvie retrieved the phone and found him on Google Messages. After talking over the phone for quite some time they met up for dinner. After they decide to go to Stanley’s house. This is when he finds out that Alvie has Asperger syndrome.

The unique, loving story of “When My Heart Joins The Thousand” written by A.J. Steiger comes from Alvie’s heart wrenching past, to her struggle of love, to her heart warming present. Steiger has described how to find love being neurodivergent in a positive light which is such a wonderful thing because she is spreading awareness which you don’t typically find in books about this topic.

“When My Heart Joins The Thousand” is truly a wonderful story that explains the challenge of love in a neurodivergent relationship. Steiger also represents ableism which draws light to the challenges neurodivergent people go through. All coming back to the past and how negativity can turn into love, how issues don’t have to define you and having support systems to show you that is a positive thing. Alvie and Stanley’s relationship shows sacrifice and challenge but also love and compassion which is a great balance in a relationship.

All in all this was a lovely novel. It shows a great understanding of the challenges of love as a neurodivergent couple. This book is recommended if you’re interested in learning about neurodivergent relationships and if you enjoy reading love stories.