REVIEW: Above Suspicion and Unbothered

Ever since May 2020, I’ve had a large influx of poetry to review and have been struggling to space it out between my other books for variety. I used to review a poetry collection a month, but I might review it more often, just to get through the list quickly. My review pile is becoming rather concerning and it’s not something I want to bring into 2023.

With that being said, I think this was a great book to start the year. Other than it is poetry and fairly quick to read, it left a hopeful and positive note, which I’ll be elaborating more in the review.


BOOK SUMMARY

A collection of poetry, prose, and quotes based around past anger towards a toxic relationship, acceptance and clarity of moving forward, and finally a rejoice in happiness. Above Suspicion and Unbothered is a deeper look into the emotional recount the author had experienced her last five years and how much her life has changed since then. This book is meant to express the authors suppressed feelings and to help inspire others and to let it be known that after a toxic relationship, you too will be okay.

BOOK REVIEW

* An e-copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Above Suspicion and Unbothered is separated into 3 parts – Swirling Thoughts of Rage, Intermission of Clarity and Acceptance, and Life is Grand and I am Happy, and the titles suggest the theme of the poems.

It opens with a powerful line and reads like a journal. There’s a mix of longer poems and some short ones. I prefer longer poems, Catherine’s short lines are shockingly powerful. The way it is arranged only enhances the impact.

However, there were some lines in the second and third parts that didn’t give as much impact. It seemed like motivational quotes. Overall, the poems were very straightforward and placed an emphasis on rhymes.

The formatting was strange to me. I can’t see a clear pattern around it. Some poems were centre-aligned, some were left-aligned. I can’t tell why and if it was done to give a certain effect, it lacked in that area.

Despite that, the poems take you through a whole journey. One full of sadness, confusion, anger, pain, and slowly acceptance and happiness. By the end of it, I was happy for the poet.

REVIEW: Lost and Found

I used to hate the Kindle app, but now I have a newfound respect for it.

When I used to download books from NetGalley, I’ve always resented downloading to Kindle because:
1. The formatting on certain books goes out of place.
2. The text on graphic novels are ridiculously tiny.
3. I only have the Kindle app on my phone. Reading from my phone makes me easily distracted.

But now that my NetGalley feedback score is lower than preferred, I’m glad that the Kindle app saved my previous downloads of books that I didn’t get the chance to read (expired before I could read it, or just wasn’t in the mood). I’ve found a total of 6 books there, and by reviewing at least 3 of it can help me improve my score.

This is one of them.

tl;dr: Over requesting books on NetGalley is a thing. The Kindle app is your best friend. Orson Scott Card is a great writer.


Lost and Found
by Orson Scott Card

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

“Are you really a thief?”

That’s the question that has haunted fourteen-year-old Ezekiel Blast all his life. But he’s not a thief, he just has a talent for finding things. Not a superpower–a micropower. Because what good is finding lost bicycles and hair scrunchies, especially when you return them to their owners and everyone thinks you must have stolen them in the first place? If only there were some way to use Ezekiel’s micropower for good, to turn a curse into a blessing. His friend Beth thinks there must be, and so does a police detective investigating the disappearance of a little girl. When tragedy strikes, it’s up to Ezekiel to use his talent to find what matters most.

Master storyteller Orson Scott Card delivers a touching and funny, compelling and smart novel about growing up, harnessing your potential, and finding your place in the world, no matter how old you are.

BOOK REVIEW

*An e-copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

t/w: death, bullying, profanities, kidnapping, child trafficking, child-p*rn (mentions only)

Note: This book deals with the problem of kidnapping, human trafficking and child p*rnography. It is a serious matter, and it happens anywhere and everywhere in the world. As I am writing the review now, I do not know if I want to keep it up on my blog, or be associated with any kind of books relating to this. I would classify this as a novel for maybe children around the age of 14 onwards, and I think regardless of the harsh and sensitive topic, it is difficult to shy away from the cruel reality of this world. Otherwise, this is a very good book about relationships, trust and hidden potential, which I enjoyed.

“It means that I trust you and you can trust me. It means that if something goes wrong for you, I help as much as I can. It means that if you’re not where you’re expected, I look for you. It means that if good stuff happens, I’m happy for you.”

Lost and Found (Orson Scott Card)

This book is easily in my top 5 books of the year. It deals with friendships, familial relationships and a whole lot of banter which I absolutely enjoyed. Every character introduced had a purpose in the story and wasn’t there just for the sake of it.

Initially, much like Ezekiel, I thought Beth was annoying. The thought of having an unwelcomed person wanting to stick by you irritates me, but I really liked the way they interacted. The conversations in this book was written so well, not only between Ezekiel and Beth, but also with the adults too. It was quite mature with a lot of banter. Sure, you could argue that it was childish and bratty, but if a child could think of such retorts, that would be very cool. It reminds me of BBC Sherlock Holmes’ retorts, or those of Dr. Gregory House’s, but maybe I am biased.

The book was very enjoyable. The first chapter flew by so quickly, and I was able to finish this book within four days, much faster than any other of this length. It was quite a fast paced book and it definitely wasn’t predictable, but it wasn’t shocking. All the events and choices made sense, so it is clear that Card had a very well-formed plan.

The major characters were all very likeable, well-written and dynamic. Each character had some unique point of view and ability, some of them had actual abilities which were called ‘micropower’ throughout the book. There was a huge belief that everyone had a micropower. It’s just like a superpower, but less super, less impressive. For Ezekiel, it was his ability to find things that were lost, for Dahlia, it was making someone yawn, for Skunk (Ezekiel, gave him that nickname, which he does to almost every character, but his actual name is Lanny), he can turn fowl stinks into pleasant scents. You will discover the others’ micropowers throughout the book.

As much as I laughed out loud while reading, I also cried so much, especially towards the end. I really loved the relationships, especially between Ezekiel and his dad’s. Perhaps some people might think the way they interact with each other might be unrealistic or maybe borderline disrespectful, but I understand it comes from a genuine place of respect, admiration and trust. I could go on and on about each relationship that I loved, but this isn’t a book report, and I’ll allow you to formulate your own thoughts and feelings about this book.

As for the harsher topics, below is a spoiler for if anyone wants to know more about the kidnapping/ child-trafficking parts. I believe strongly that as a reviewer, we need to be careful of the books we read and promote on our platforms. Which is why if it will reduce anyone’s anxiety or if it is a triggering topic, I will include a not-descriptive type of spoiler.

SPOILER

A big part of this book is surrounding Ezekiel’s ability to find things, and he discovers he can use lost things to find people too. Which is how he became involved in helping a couple find their kidnapped daughter. There are mentions of a child-trafficking ring, and mentions of what goes on in these websites. Nothing is graphic, or descriptive, especially since the main characters are 14. However, I do think eventually, you will need to talk to children about such dangers.

REVIEW: The Soulless Shoe

Today’s poetry collection reminded me of a struggle I have with book reviewing – ratings.

Rating books that are quite personal to the author: where do you stand? On one hand, you can have your own thoughts and feelings about a book. On the other, it is someone else’s life that we are rating, or maybe the portrayal of it. It feels strange to give it a number, as if we are right to decide.

Where do you stand on this topic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Soulless Shoe
by Mehak Goyal

BOOK SUMMARY

It is a chapbook on poetry divided into 3 parts: tattered, stitched and adorned.

The first section deals with the agony of heartbreak.
The second section focuses on healing and recovering.
The third section captures the desire to fall in love clouded by the doubts of being broken again.

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*An e-copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Soulless Shoe is a short poetry chapbook, good for a quick read that you’re able to finish in one sitting. It is divided into 3 parts covering despair, hope, and finally being mended back together, and it begins with a poem that illustrates the scene, and the following poems after that enhances it.

It seems like a whole story told through 21 poems, however, because of how there wasn’t any clear indication that there were separate poems, it could be just 3 very long poems and that is very impressive.

In terms of the design and layout, a line art accompanies every poem, and the layout was unlike any other that I’ve read. Traditionally, poems would either be centered in the middle, or aligned left, but there’s variation throughout the pages which I really liked. It’s extremely rare to see a poem aligned to the right, but for all 3 layouts in one book? That’s new.

It feels strange to write a review of this collection. On one hand, it is only 36 pages from cover to cover, on the other hand, it is so personal to the author. For someone to write poems as perhaps a form of catharsis, it is difficult to give it a number rating (but in the end I did).

For the sake of a review, from a reader’s perspective, I appreciate the hope, joy and strength towards the end of the book. Other than that, it is quick and sweet, but left more to be desired.

REVIEW: Halcyon (The Perfect Circle Trilogy, #2)

I reviewed the first book (Nimbus) in the Perfect Circle Trilogy a few years ago. I really enjoyed it then and it was personally one of the better reviews I’ve written. It was an instant five stars.

The second book came at a different time in my life. It took me 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to read.

*I suggest reading my review of Nimbus before diving in, or at least reading the summary of the two books. There will be references, but no spoilers of course.


Halcyon
by A.C. Miller

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

It’s been three months since the events that transpired in Nimbus. Three months in which Sam, Sean, and Elise have tried to get over the nightmare that wanted to kill them; the same nightmare that ended the lives of those they loved. Now, time is up—somewhere else is calling them; somewhere else desires to test their strength.

A new place beckons for Elise to learn its ways.

It pleads for Sam not to shy away from the horrors he may experience.

It begs Sean to show his strength when he least believes he can. And the longer they wait, the stronger the call becomes; the more it dares to make them suffer until they find and answer it.

In Halcyon, Sam, Elise, and Sean search for a new world, a new home by leaving everything they’ve ever known behind. With no clue what lies ahead, will they discover a new society and a new way of living, or will their haunted pasts catch up with them?

BOOK REVIEW

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*A physical review copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

“You have to acknowledge the pain and use it as fuel to keep you moving forward, to keep you from ending up in the same spot.”

– A.C. Miller, Halcyon

When reading Halcyon, half the time you’re confused, the other half you’re terrified. You’re transported into the story, and just like the characters, no one knows what is going on or what is ahead. However, just like them, you need to continue forward.

Following the events of Nimbus, Sam, Elise, Sean and the other survivors that they’ve found have nowhere to go. Until Sam and Elise begin to experience strange nightmares that tell them of a new place. They’re compelled to follow the strange voice that is guiding them, and that’s how they reach Halcyon – the next circle.

If I were to describe this book, it’d be a dark, dystopian thriller. It is not an easy read, its filled with anxiety and it’s kinda creepy. Yet there were moments I felt extremely relieved and relaxed, thinking Halcyon seems nice, only to be proven wrong, multiple times. There were so many twists and turns in the story. One moment they are drinking a chocolate soda (is that a real thing?), the next moment they are threatened to have their pinky cut off. You know a story is good when the villain is disturbingly evil, yet at some point, you feel compassion for them.

The story switches between the 3 POVs of Sean, Elise and Sam. It is written in short chapters, which makes reading a 317 page book rather easy. I know I took 2 years to read this, but once you get into the groove, you’re able to go through 30 or 40 pages very quickly. I really enjoyed how there was a lot of wisdom spilled on these pages. I often find myself wanting to take pictures of it whenever I came across them, but sometimes, it’s better for people to read it for themselves.

Towards the end, it felt a little rushed, yet if I were in that position, I would’ve done the same thing. I guess, as a reader, after seeing the amount of torment they’ve gone through, I became a little sceptical of anything positive going their way. I guess that’s what Halcyon does to you.

REVIEW: A Lens Without a Face

I’ve been reading a lot of poems since May last year, when I realised my inbox was flooded with poems. It still is, but I’m reading one every month to get it to a manageable amount. So far I’m trying to diversify the genres I read so there’s a little bit of variety, but I’ll be doing Poetry Jan, where I read poetry throughout January and hopefully find a few favourites.

Feel free to join me!


A Lens Without a Face
by Maddisen Alexandra

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

Reflection is the best medicine for soothing the pain life deals. To dance with the forgotten ideals society so selfishly disposed of means to be free. I have a colorless lens waiting for someone to see through…101 lenses to be exact. Each one craves exploration. Each one requires a personal narrative to breathe.

BOOK REVIEW

5 STARS

*An e-copy was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I can’t compliment this book enough.

A Lens Without a Face is a poetry collection with 101 poems, and all the poems are numbered instead of given a title. The author stressed time and time again to reflect, and even left a page blank after every poem for reflection, notes, or drawings to challenge the reader to be creative.

The titles for each poem was revealed at the end which was something new to me. It creates a sense of mystery, and lets the reader read and consider the poem instead of judging it because of its title. I really appreciate how it makes you try to understand where the author is coming from by reflecting on your own experience. Just as how the author intended.

I really can’t write a review that does this collection justice. Almost every poem makes my jaw drop in awe. All I can is that Maddisen Alexandra is a very skilled poet and a writer.

The poems had a very artistic way of showing our society. It is very visual and heavy on imagery, yet somewhat delicate in its way of choosing words. There were so many brilliant lines and great technique. For most poems I’ve read, I admire it for their flowery words and fun rhymes, but this, each line was crafted carefully. I don’t think I’ve read any as good as this.

One thing is certain, is that the poems feels very personal as if I’m reading a diary, and sometimes I don’t even know if I should be reading it. It deals with mental illness, observations of the world, pain, divorce and hope. Towards the end, there were the list of titles, and some of these titles are the best titles I’ve heard. It really shows the poet’s fun personality with titles such as ‘Peace Out My Homeskillet Biscuits’ and ‘*Cue Epic Mic Drop*’. It was a great way to end the collection.

REVIEW: In

Graphic novels should be for everyone, regardless of age. It’s a great palate cleanser after a heavy book, great introduction to reading after a slump and it’s a great thing to read if you want to reach your reading goals.

I was in one of my rare moods of wanting to read a graphic novel. Whilst browsing NetGalley, I found this gem, and it’s by a New Yorker cartoonist. I’ve never clicked on it faster. I’ve always admired the artwork on the New Yorker magazine. Sometimes I wish I could purchase the magazine, cut out the cover and frame it.

I could go on and on about my love for the magazine covers, but that’s a topic for another day.


REVIEW: In
by Will McPhail

BOOK SUMMARY

A poignant and witty graphic novel by a leading New Yorker cartoonist, following a millennial’s journey from performing his life to truly connecting with people

Nick, a young illustrator, can’t shake the feeling that there is some hidden realm of human interaction beyond his reach. He haunts lookalike fussy, silly, coffee shops, listens to old Joni Mitchell albums too loudly, and stares at his navel in the hope that he will find it in there. But it isn’t until he learns to speak from the heart that he begins to find authentic human connections and is let in—to the worlds of the people he meets. Nick’s journey occurs alongside the beginnings of a relationship with Wren, a wry, spirited oncologist at a nearby hospital, whose work and life becomes painfully tangled with Nick’s.

Illustrated in both color and black-and-white in McPhail’s instantly recognizable style, In elevates the graphic novel genre; it captures his trademark humor and compassion with a semi-autobiographical tale that is equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching—uncannily appropriate for our isolated times.

BOOK REVIEW

5 STARS

*A review copy was given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
t/w: sex, nudity

The perfect balance of an interesting storyline, gorgeous illustrations and a brilliant use of colour. This book is a work of art.

‘It’ is a funny graphic novel by New Yorker magazine illustrator Will McPhail, and it is snarky, creative and reflective. The dialogues were hilarious and comedic without trying too hard, and the characters were likeable. It has been a long time since I’ve read something as good and memorable as this.

The story follows Nick, a 21st century ‘woke boy’ who spends his days in and out of cafes, working a job he hates and often times could be heard exciting himself through the walls and listening to Joni Mitchell right after. He struggles with emotional intimacy, and often has internal monologues about keeping a façade in a world where people commonly engage in small talk.

Then enters Wren, a wry and outgoing oncologist that he met at a bar while he was reenacting the common ‘sad guy at a bar’ scene from a ton of movies (he reference movies quite a bit throughout the story, most of the references fly past my head but I can still appreciate it). They hit off almost immediately and form an interesting relationship with plenty of sarcasm, teasing and emotional moments. She’s my favourite part of this book.

A big chunk of the book was on Nick trying to have conversations that matter with the people around him, and trying to know the person before it becomes too late. I also loved how McPhail left hidden messages in the scenes, especially the names of bars and hipster cafes. A reflection of society and businesses. It’s clever and always a joy to read. He writes in a way that is holding a mirror towards the audience and reminding them to reflect and form better relationships, encased in satire.

Colour is use very wisely in this graphic novel. Most of the pages are in black and white, heavy on the shading, but there are instances where colour is used, commonly to portray the explosion of emotions and happiness when there’s a connection or vulnerability. It is literally a burst of colour, and it is beautiful. Some scenes even looked like photographs.

It’s amazing.

REVIEW: Fights

Today’s book is a graphic novel, maybe an emphasis on ‘graphic’ since there’s a ton of trigger warnings and it is far from a lighthearted read. Regardless, I do hope you will pick it up because it is an important read.


Fights
by Joel Christian Gill

BOOK SUMMARY

Fights is the visceral and deeply affecting memoir of artist/author Joel Christian Gill, chronicling his youth and coming of age as a Black child in a chaotic landscape of rough city streets and foreboding backwoods. 

Propelled into a world filled with uncertainty and desperation, young Joel is pushed toward using violence to solve his problems by everything and everyone around him. But fighting doesn’t always yield the best results for a confused and sensitive kid who yearns for a better, more fulfilling life than the one he was born into, as Joel learns in a series of brutal conflicts that eventually lead him to question everything he has learned about what it truly means to fight for one’s life.

BOOK REVIEW

4 STARS
A review copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

t/w: dead animal, death, blood, physical violence, profanity, abuse, sexual assault, racism

This is a memoir written in the form of a graphic novel about a light-skinned black man from a poor family, raised with violence all around him.

Nothing about this book is light. If you’re looking for a light, fun and easy read, this is not a book you should pick up now, but I do recommend that you save it to read in the future.

This book sheds light on how trauma affects everyone and how children, especially, absorb the behaviour of their surroundings. It is definitely a wake up call, especially when violence, bullying and abuse cases are going up everywhere in the world.

In this book, the author uses a kindling fire above the characters as a visual representation of anger, of course, but I also understood it as events that eventually add together to cause someone to burst.

From a stylistic point of view, it does a great job in censorship, especially the scenes of sexual assault since it is a graphic novel. It is handled carefully, with a pitch black scene and speech bubbles.

Although this book is a memoir, some characters were not exactly real but a combination of different people in the author’s life. Though the ending was heartbreaking for me, since I really, really appreciated the character. But it also emphasised on the importance of checking up on our friends, especially those who were always the calm, levelheaded one in most situations.

It isn’t a preachy book, but it does make you reflect, especially when you see children bullying one another and picking up abusive and harmful behaviours from their parents. It’s definitely our duty to heal from our traumas so we won’t pass it on to anyone else.

REVIEW: SOLO

When I was younger, I considered becoming a freelancer. It made sense to me, since I was studying graphic design but I knew it was going to be tough, maybe even too tough for me to handle, so I dropped the idea of it. Few years down the road, I’m now a freelance copywriter (since it comes to me more intuitively than design) and this book couldn’t have come at a better time.

The pandemic has made us realise that we are easily dispensable. I’ve heard many stories about people being fired from their jobs without any notice, many companies going bankrupt and severe pay cuts. If you’re considering freelancing, this book will help you out.


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SOLO
by Palle Schmidt

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY

If you’re planning to build a freelance career in an artistic industry, SOLO is the perfect field guide for creative entrepreneurs at every level. Whether you’re starting out, or a seasoned professional, this book will give you the tools you need to push forward on your journey to building your brand and becoming a sought-after commodity.

Drawing from his own experiences as a twenty-year professional in the comic book and commercial art industries, author Palle Schmidt guides you through the process of transitioning from amateur to creative professional with an emphasis on longevity, sustainability and happiness in whichever field you’ve chosen. Complete with real-life examples, pre-written forms and psychological business strategy, SOLO will be the book you reference throughout your career for advice and inspiration as you turn your brand into an empire.

SOLO is written for people who believe in creative living on their own terms, who want a sustainable career, mixing freelance work with creating and selling their own art. Diving into the tactics and strategies of this book will help you find a clearer vision to strike out your own path.

BOOK REVIEW

*A review copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

5 STARS

“We are our own worst enemy that way, always looking for stuff to beat ourselves up with.”

– Palle Schmidt, SOLO

As I read this book, all I could think about was how much I didn’t know about the freelancing industry. Yes sure, I know embarrassingly little, and I wouldn’t have thought about it until I read this book.

As a person working in the creatives, SOLO carries a lot of invaluable advice. Schmidt has spent more than 20 years as a freelancer, and he explains the ins and outs of the freelancing industry. I’ve heard again and again about the importance of self-discipline (although I am still lacking), budgeting and time management (once again, I am still lacking) as a freelancer. However, this book made me realize that I had no clue about the entrepreneurial side of it.

Believe me, it was eye-opening to hear that as a freelancer, you have to have a registered company (I feel so ashamed to admit that I didn’t know it), apply for tax-deductible business expenses (which is great because Adobe software isn’t cheap) and the many opportunities for networking and help within the freelancing community. I’ve never heard any of these things when others discuss freelancing!

In SOLO, he not only gives advices, but also shares his experience as a case study, provide many email templates for different situations such as for when you need to pitch your ideas or when you’re looking for a mentor. It’s a gem.

I had to read this book twice. The first time, I’ve yet to begin my freelancing career, but I did wish I took down notes. The second time around, I am taking down notes and trying to apply it wherever I can.

If you’re interested in freelancing, I highly recommend this book. I’ve also found an unabridged version of SOLO on Spotify, read by the author himself, that you can check out! It’s an overall enjoyable read that motivated me to get my life together, and I hope you will enjoy it too.

REVIEW: Now You See Her

Now You See Her
by Mark R. Harris

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY:

15-year-old Luke Gray is in shock—his girlfriend Lonnie is moving, and he can’t follow her. Before she leaves, he gets her to promise to wait for him until they are 18. With Lonnie gone, Luke falls into a whirlpool of depression and fear. He tries to stay afloat via sarcasm, 1970s music, and fantasy. 

And then a new girl appears on the scene, Sherry, who seems perfect. Without giving up on Lonnie, Luke begins dating Sherry, and she keeps him on this side of insanity. His parents, though, notice disturbing changes in his behavior… and eventually Luke realizes that his relationship with Sherry has limits they can’t move beyond. So he befriends Julie, a clever, down-to-earth girl he quickly grows to love. But when Julie finds out that Luke has never let go of Lonnie, he’s forced to either try to find Lonnie or turn his back on her forever.


BOOK REVIEW: 

3.5 STARS

*A free PDF copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review*

Meet 15-year-old Luke who spiralled into a land of music and talking to the radio after his girlfriend Lonnie had to move away. It was a struggle for him to be without and he was constantly reminded of her every day. Then, came Sherry, a girl from his church, who caught his eye. Perhaps she might be able to take his mind off Lonnie. And there was Julie, who he was interested in too.

I’ve wanted to venture into the land of romance and young puppy love but now I found out that it isn’t for me. I could not relate to the obsession that Luke had over Lonnie and how he needed someone by his side, every day. I also faced culture shock during some parts of the story like when Sherry could stay the night over at Luke’s. It was so foreign to me.

I didn’t like the first half of the book. I’ve had no interest in his love life with Sherry as it just doesn’t feel genuine. They had their love for music in common, they went to the same church, but overall, I wasn’t fond of it. Despite this part of the story being a little dry, it played a role in the story, emphasising how Luke still wasn’t able to get over Lonnie.

The second part of the book became much more interesting. Luke tries to find someone new who can take his mind off Lonnie. He eliminates from a list of girls who he was interested in and then settles on the girl who took notice of him, someone he has a chance with – Julie. She is by far my favourite character in the book. Although, I was disappointed that she changed so much after Luke admitted his feelings to her.

What I do find that was interesting was Luke’s faith in the Lord and how he often relied on signs for his love life. I like how this incorporates relying on the Lord in our lives, especially in choosing a life partner or a girlfriend/boyfriend as it is extremely important.

REVIEW: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

get it here

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.


BOOK REVIEW: 

4 STARS

I was given this book by a friend who said this was her favourite book. It has become one of my favourites too.

15-year-old Christopher is extremely logical, doesn’t get metaphors and is autistic. He hates being touched, he doesn’t like being around strangers and he does not relate to human emotions. It is interesting to read how people with autism perceive things, and it really opens my eyes and makes me understand more.

This book was written like a diary and instead of chapters, it has numbers that separate each day and incident. It was different from many other books and I really love that. It comes with diagrams and equations and things that you don’t normally see in a book. It was refreshing and new. 

Christopher faces many difficulties in life. The biggest obstacle being his unfamiliarity with people and places hinder him from doing a lot of things. There were many incidents in this book that strongly emphasized how the way Christopher perceived things was so much more different from the way most people do. He hates the colour yellow and carries a bottle of red dye with him and he doesn’t understand what a high-five is, just to name a few.

In this book, Haddon writes of how a dysfunctional family tries to raise an autistic son. It is a book that touches on family feud, social disability and the best part, a murder case. There will be many unexpected twists along the way and how Christopher narrates it in an extremely logical way ties the story together, making it an enjoyable read. 

If there’d be any way that you can understand how a person with autism would perceive the world, this would be a simple start.