Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeTitle: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author:
 Mark Haddon
Publication Date: 18 May 2004
ISBN: 1400032717
Pages: 226
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: Softcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Review

This was an intense read that I absolutely loved.

My favorite part of this book was definitely the perspective. From what I could gather, Christopher had autism. And this mental disability created a perspective was absolutely fascinating. I have a deep fascination with how other peoples’ brains take in information and what their though processes are. This book really delved deep into one person’s version of autism. It was clear that Haddon had taken the time to do some deep research on how their brain’s functions – specifically because he has worked with people with autism when he was younger.

Truthfully, this perspective definitely carried this book. It wasn’t an overly complex plot. If it were from the perspective of a neuro-normal person, it would have been boring and awful. But this perspective took a relatively uninteresting scenario and made it absolutely fascinating because I was viewing a perspective that was completely different from mine. It elevated a situation that I wouldn’t have otherwise cared about and made it an adventure that stretched my own mind and created a strange out of body experience.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the very simple plot. The uncomplicated plot paired with the thought-provoking point of view well. However, the uncomplicated plot was still interesting because it was a mini mystery. Yet the mystery never felt like it was overpowering the story and was instead guiding a part of a life story. It was beautifully done.

It’s important to understand that this is not a mystery novel. That isn’t the intention of this novel at all. The murder mystery is simply a frame for the story to exist. It’s almost a setting more than a focus. However, it is an important facet to the story.

My biggest complaint was that it wasn’t long enough. It began to feel a little rushed towards the end which is when a lot of the good stuff start happening. I felt like Haddon could have probably explored the ending a little bit more and offered a bit more of Christopher’s head space. At about 230 pages, it was a surprisingly quick read and I respect that. But as someone who loves large books and character exploration and explanation, I felt the book could have been improved by stretching the page number. Maybe even just by twenty or thirty pages.

This book has created a lot of different and contentious feelings amongst readers, as evident by Goodreads reviewers. I recommend it mostly for that reason. But I honestly recommend it to people who want to explore a state of mind or point of view that is different from their own. If you’re looking for a quick, intriguing, and thought-provoking story, this is the book you’re looking for.

Rating

4 star


Have you read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? What did you think? Did you like the perspective or no?

Review: Runaway – Wendelin Van Draanen

RunawayTitle: Runaway
Author:
 Wendelin Van Draanen
Publication Date: 12 September 2006
ISBN: 0375835229
Pages: 245
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Format: Softcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she’s had enough. She’s run away before and always been caught quickly. But she’s older and wiser now–she’s twelve–and this time she gets away clean.

Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story. We travel with her across the country–hopping trains, scamming food, sleeping in parks or homeless encampments. And we also travel with her across the gaping holes in her heart–as she finally comes to terms with her mother’s addiction and death.

Review

Y’all, I hope I’m not the only one to realize that a book is part of a spin-off series that you already know and love way after you’ve started reading the book. Right?

Seriously, I was a quarter of the way through before I realized it was by the author of one of my favorite series. And I was half-way through the book before I realized that there was a major connection between the two. Sometimes this girl just isn’t as smart as she claims to be.

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Review: Habibi – Craig Thompson

HabibiTitle: Habibi
Author:
Craig Thompson
Publication Date: 20 September 2011
ISBN: 0375424148
Pages: 672
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Review

Y’all, I have finally read a graphic novel! And I have to say, I have … conflicted feelings about this one.

First, because it’s a graphic novel, I have to talk about the artistry. It was gorgeous! Every single page had so much detail and it was clear that a lot of thought had gone into the work. From what I’ve read (both Goodreads reviews and other research) the intention was Orientalism which I know literally nothing about. Thus my untrained eye argues that the artistry was by far the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.

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Review: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Pride and PrejudiceTitle: Pride and Prejudice
Author:
 Jane Austen
Publication Date: 28 January 1813
ISBN: 0679783261
Pages: 279
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Softcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

What’s a girl to do?

Scatterbrained, social climbing Mrs. Bennet makes one demand of her five daughters.

Marry. Marry well. Marry RICH.

But sweet Jane is hopelessly in love with Mr. Bingley, who doesn’t seem to notice. Flighty Lydia wants a man–any man–preferably one in uniform. Kitty just wants to have fun. Shy Mary has her nose in a book. And Elizabeth–brilliant, stubborn, independent Lizzy–refuses the advances of the most “marriageable” man in town–haughty, handsome, wealthy Mr. Darcy.

Mrs. Bennet’s in hysterics, Mr. Bennet’s in his study, Lydia’s eloped with a soldier and Jane’s heart may well be broken. Will any of the Bennet girls find true love and fortune?

Review

As you guys know by now, I’ve been reading this book for literal months and it’s given me a lot of stress. So I’m honestly so incredibly grateful to be done with this novel.

Let’s start with what I actually joined. The plot of about 60 pages towards the middle/end of the book was truly incredible. It was fast paced, in comparison to everything else, there was character development that hadn’t been present throughout the rest of the book. It was fascinating and is one of the reasons I didn’t give up.

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The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award

I’m so happy to have been nominated for the Liebster award! Thank you so much to Maxine @ The Rogue Storyteller for nominating me. She’s a wonderful blogger with many incredible reviews, I highly recommend her. Check out her answers to this award here.

Background

What is the Liebster award? Well, from what I’ve read, it’s an award created for bloggers with less than 200 followers. The point: getting amazing bloggers recognition and love for their work. So basically, an all-around great award.

Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site on your blog
  2. Display the award on your blog
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you
  4. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the award
  5. Create a new list of questions for your nominees to answer
  6. List these rules in your post
  7. Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so they can learn about it

Maxine’s Questions

Which three books define you as a reader?

Oohh, this is hard. I’d like to think that I’m a pretty diverse reader so I’m going with: Continue reading

Review: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)Title: A Torch Against the Night, An Ember in the Ashes #2
Author:
Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: 30 August 2016
ISBN: 1101998873
Pages: 452
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Review

So I already said in my review of the first book that I love Sabaa Tahir. And honestly, this book just continues my deep love for this book.

 *** Beware of Spoilers! ***

Before I even get to the actual book, I have to talk about this cover. This cover is gorgeous! This would definitely be one of those books that would have been a cover buy. It’s so lovely and I definitely can’t wait to see what the cover will look like for the third book.

Now, onward to the book itself.

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An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
Author:
Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: 9 February 2015
ISBN: 1595148043
Pages: 446
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Review

Y’all, this novel was phenomenal. It literally had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

First and foremost, the world creating in this novel was inspiring. Sabaa Tahir has created one of the most nuanced and intriguing worlds of any recent book that I’ve seen. The Roman inspiration for the novel is very apparent throughout the novel, which added a realistic quality to the fantasy. More importantly, the world was presented in a really interesting way. At the start, there was a lot of world building which was a little boring at times. However, most of the world building occurred as the story progressed so that readers were learning more about the world as the story unraveled itself. And, quite frankly, I enjoyed that.

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On Pride and Prejudice and the “Real”Reader

Hey there! I haven’t sat down and chatted with you guys in a while and I figured that now is the perfect time to do so. If you’re looking for a review, those will be back up next week (it’s already written, I promise).

Anyway, on to the chat (rant? confession?).

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read at least 2 classics. And, for the most part, I included it because I want to read more classics. But another part of me knows that I added it because I want to fit into my idea of what a “real” reader or an “actual book lover”. I don’t know when I started thinking that real readers and booklovers are a certain type, but I’ve come to realize that I do. And it’s hindering my reading abilities. Continue reading

Review: Revival – Stephen King

Title: RevivalRevival
Author:
 Stephen King
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
ISBN: 1476770395
Pages: 403
Genre: Horror Fiction
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

Review

This novel made inner science me so happy. I loved it!

First of all, can we just talk about Stephen King’s writing style? It’s so beautiful and unique; I could pick out his writing from a stack of random books. I particularly enjoyed how the ending of the novel was framed, it was incredibly intense. He wields words in a simple yet deep and disturbing way. I’m a definite fan.

King also creates shockingly relatable characters. Despite the fact that I’ve never gone through the events of either Jamie or Charlie, I found myself empathizing with them quite frequently. Continue reading

Tag: Celebrating the Little Things

Thanks to the ever wonderful Shouni @Through the Book Portal for tagging me! If you guys aren’t reading her blog, you’re doing life wrong. She’s amazing, go check her out.

Who was your very first follower (if you can find out)? Tag them and give them a shout out!

I think this might be a tie between Shouni @ Through the Book Portal or Cindy @ Stranger Things Have Happened. However, the award for first follower outside of my friend group goes to Mrs. A @ Novels and Nibbles.

You should definitely check out heir blogs, they’re incredible.

What was the last milestone you reached?

I officially hit 20 followers for this blog! I’m really excited about this because I never thought anyone but my friends would read my blog. It’s really nice to know that I’m not just writing into the ether.

What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us!

With shame I write that my first post was my “About Me” post that I absolutely despise. It was initially over on Blogger but I migrated everything to WordPress when I switched over. It’s so poorly written because I just can’t write about myself. I really do not recommend it. Continue reading