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.

Continue reading “Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon”

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading “Review: Habibi – Craig Thompson”

Review: Deafening – Frances Itani

DeafeningTitle: Deafening
Author: Frances Itani
Publication Date: 5 November 2004
ISBN: 080214165X
Pages: 416
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

At the age of five, Grania-the daughter of hardworking Irish hoteliers in smalltown Ontario-emerges from a bout of scarlet fever profoundly deaf and is suddenly sealed off from the world that was just beginning to open for her. Her guilt-plagued mother cannot accept her daughter’s deafness. Grania’s saving grace is her grandmother Mamo, who tries to teach Grania to read and speak again. Grania’s older sister, Tress, is a beloved ally as well-obliging when Grania begs her to shout words into her ear canals and forging a rope to keep the sisters connected from their separate beds at night when Grania fears the terrible vulnerability that darkness brings. When it becomes clear that she can no longer thrive in the world of the hearing, her family sends her to live at the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville, where, protected from the often-unforgiving hearing world outside, she learns sign language and speech.

After graduation Grania stays on to work at the school, and it is there that she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man. In wonderment the two begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But just two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave home to serve as a stretcher bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders.

During this long war of attrition, Jim and Grania’s letters back and forth-both real and imagined-attempt to sustain their young love in a world as brutal as it is beautiful. Frances Itani’s depiction of a world where sound exists only in the margins is a singular feat in literary fiction, a place difficult to leave and even harder to forget.

Review

I loved this book so much. If you checked out my November Anticipated Reads and Releases post, you’ll know that I have a fascination with deaf culture and that this is my first literary introduction to the deaf community. And if you’re even slightly intrigued by the deaf community, I think you’ll enjoy this novel.

Continue reading “Review: Deafening – Frances Itani”

Review: Friction- Sandra Brown

FrictionTitle: Friction
Author: Sandra Brown
Publication Date: 18 August 2015
ISBN: 145558116X
Pages: 416
Genre: Mystery, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

A Texas Ranger, relegated to desk work due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Review

This book was pretty great! I’m a big mystery fan and this one definitely goes high up on my list.

I’ve never had the pleasure of reading anything by Sandra Brown prior to Friction and I’m surprised I’ve never heard of her before. She’s a phenomenal writer who has a great grasp on how to keep readers at the edge of their seats. I particularly enjoyed seeing the interactions between Texas Ranger Crawford Hunt and the judge, Holly Spencer.

Continue reading “Review: Friction- Sandra Brown”

Review: Me Before You- Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)Title: Me Before You
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publication Date: 5 January 2010
ISBN: 1423116186
Pages: 200
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Review

This book = yes! When I saw the movie for the trailer I was immediately excited because the plot sounded incredible. When I realized it was a book-to-movie adaptation, I actually squealed because what’s better than a movie? A book!

Me Before You is a pretty classic romance with a lovely twist. When I first started reading I was almost disappointed. The characters seemed pretty generic and boring- the overbearing mother, the spineless female lead , the heartless male lead, and even the irritating boyfriend.

Oh was I wrong!

Continue reading “Review: Me Before You- Jojo Moyes”

Review: The Night Ranger – Alex Berenson

15815367Title: The Night Ranger, John Wells #7
Author: Alex Berenson
Publication Date: 12 February 2013
ISBN: 039915972X
Pages: 387
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

John Wells enters new territory, as he goes underground in East Africa to track four kidnapped Americans and the Somali bandits who snatched them, in the tough, thoughtful, electrifying new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

Four friends, recent college graduates, travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis. Two men, two women, each with their own reasons for being there. But after twelve weeks, they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventure.

They get more than they bargained for. Bandits hijack them. They wake up in a hut, hooded, bound, no food or water. Hostages. As a personal favor, John Wells is asked to try to find them, but he does so reluctantly. East Africa isn’t his usual playing field. And when he arrives, he finds that the truth behind the kidnappings is far more complex than he imagined.

The clock is ticking. The White House is edging closer to an invasion of Somalia. Wells has a unique ability to go undercover, and to make things happen, but if he can’t find the hostages soon, they’ll be dead – and the U.S. may be in a war it never should have begun.

My Thoughts

So I just realized that this book was part of a series… I was looking for the book on Goodreads to add to my list and evidently it’s part of a series. Grrrrrrrrrrr! I hate reading books out of order and now I feel like I’ve probably missed out on some character development that would have made an already fantastic book even better. There’s not much I can do about it now, so on to the actual review.

Continue reading “Review: The Night Ranger – Alex Berenson”

Review: RedDevil 4- Eric C. Leuthardt

Title: RedDevil 4
Author: Eric C. Leuthardt
Publication Date: 4 February 2014
ISBN: 0765332566
Pages: 368
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Hagan Maerici is on the verge of a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that could change the way we think about human consciousness. Obsessed with his job and struggling to save his marriage, Dr. Maerici is forced to put his life’s work on the line when a rash of brutal murders strikes St. Louis.

Edwin Krantz, an aging, technophobic detective, and his ex-Navy SEAL partner, Tara Dezner, are tasked with investigating the horrifying killings. Shockingly, the murders have all been committed by high-profile citizens who have no obvious motives. Seeking an explanation for the suspects’ strange behavior, Krantz and Dezner turn to Dr. Maerici, who believes that the answer lies within the killers’ in-brain computer implants.

Soon Tara Dezner begins to suspect that the doctor himself is a key piece of the puzzle. As the investigation turns to Dr. Maerici’s own work, it threatens to expose the doctor’s long-buried mistake–a mistake that now stands to endanger the lives of millions.

With time running out, this trio of unlikely allies must face a gauntlet of obstacles, both human and AI, as they attempt to avert disaster. Ultimately, the key to survival may lie in the boundary between man and machine…a boundary that is becoming more ambiguous by the minute.

My Thoughts

I really, really liked this book. It’s not one of my top favorites or anything but it was definitely the perfect book for getting out of a reading rut. It was such an engaging novel- each of the characters served a specific purpose and each plot line came together extremely nicely. And I really enjoyed reading a novel where AI was not entirely “I’m going to destroy the world” and where these AI had specific regulations that they followed quite closely. So awesome!

Continue reading “Review: RedDevil 4- Eric C. Leuthardt”

Review: Life of Pi

Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publication Date: 1 May 2003
ISBN: 0156027321
Pages: 319
Genre: Literary Fiction, Survival, Adventure
Format: Paperback
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

My thoughts

There are so many things that I thought were absolutely great about this book. I had watched about 20 minutes of the Life of Pi movie adaptation when I was on a plane a few years ago but, other than that, I went in blind.

The book is broken up into 3 parts, each with a distinctive purpose: learning about Pi, Pi’s survival story, and Pi’s interrogation. In the first part we are introduced to some interesting characters. Yann Martel created an author who is narrating the novel to us readers who happens to also be named Yann Martel. I thought the idea of having another author who was between the reader and the storyteller added a sense of believability to Pi’s otherwise fanciful tale.

Continue reading “Review: Life of Pi”

Review: Everything Leads to You

Everything Leads to YouTitle: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Publication Date: 15 May 2014
ISBN: 0525425888
Pages: 307
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, LGBTQ+
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

 

“I want you to do something with the place. Something epic.”

After being entrusted with her brother’s Los Angeles apartment for the summer as a graduation gift, Emi Price isn’t sure how to fulfill his one condition: that something great take place there while he’s gone. Emi may be a talented young production designer, already beginning to thrive in the competitive film industry, but she still feels like an average teen, floundering when it comes to romance.

But when she and her best friend, Charlotte, discover a mysterious letter at the estate sale of a Hollywood film legend, Emi must move beyond the walls of her carefully crafted world to chase down the loose ends of a movie icon’s hidden life, leading her to uncover a decades’ old secret and the potential for something truly epic: love.

My thoughts

I would first like to point out that I generally don’t enjoy romance novels, I think they are far too predictable. However, I think that LaCour handled the romance in Everything Leads to You in a manner that made it less predictable. Shockingly, I was somewhat reluctant to label this as a romance novel because I feel that it wasn’t a major point in the novel; it was more something that just happened (as it would in real life). And that’s one half of the reason why I thoroughly enjoyed the romance aspect to this novel. The other half comes from the LGBTQ+ aspect of this book. It was nice to read a novel where the main character, Emi, identified as lesbian and it wasn’t the most important part of the novel. It was merely a trait that belonged to the character just like it would be if a character was straight.

Emi herself was such a relatable character, from the way she reacted to new situations to when she was reprimanded for her choices. She was a fun character to read about. And LaCour did a fantastic job of articulating Emi’s vision in a way that I, as someone has very little design skills, could visualize. Emi was also what I would consider a strong female character. Not in the physical sense that other strong female characters often are, but in the fact that she had opinions, which she believed in, and she was willing to admit her own faults.

Continue reading “Review: Everything Leads to You”

Review: The Diviners

7728889Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publication Date: 25 August 2015
ISBN: 031612611X
Pages: 578
Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

 

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My thoughts

I’m glad I decided to listen to all the hype on booktube about this book. I’ve been hearing all about it for quite a while and the premise seemed interesting.

One of the first things I noticed about this book was its accuracy to the time. From the descriptions all the way to the speech patterns, it’s clear that Libba Bray spent quite a bit of time doing research. From this alone you feel as if you are planted solidly in the 20’s. I really enjoyed that aspect of it. Another thing I thought was well written were each of the murders that Evie follows. We, the readers, learn about the murders before Evie does meaning we have details and context that she doesn’t. It’s interesting to see the levels of speculation that the characters do and their process when you know so much more than them.

Continue reading “Review: The Diviners”