Do you ever give a book a second chance? I mean quite literally – like you read the first time and you don’t like it, but then you give it another chance and ending up appreciating it more? Well, that is what happened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
About the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Book Name: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young adult
Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone, Toby, Wellington, Siobhan, Mr. Jeavons, Mrs. Alexander, Ed Boone, Judy Boone, Mr. and Mrs. Eileen Shears
Setting: England, The UK
Plot summary of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Christopher John Francis Boone, a fifteen year old kid on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum, is on a mission to find out who murdered his neighbour’s dog, Sherlock Holmes’ style. While he has a gift for math, he has difficulty reading other people’s emotion and hates being touched.
His father finds it difficult to understand his needs. His mother did it all for him until she died suddenly and now they are left to fend for themselves. Did he find the murderer? What happened to his mother? Read the rest of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to know more.
Book review of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
I rarely give books that I DNF-ed a second chance and I decided to read it because the Classics N Christie book club chose it as the BOTM. And I really wanted to know what happened in the book after I gave up and why everyone goes gaga over it.
Even though it plays the stereotypical high functioning autistic kid, this book helped me take a look at what happens inside the head of an autistic teen.
If I had to wonder what the difference was between the first time I read it and now, it is that I am more educated about the autistic spectrum, thanks to mainstream media and other books.
Things that worked for me
- While I found it hard to get into the first time I read it, I liked the non linear writing style now.
- I was genuinely surprised when the big reveal came up and I hadn’t guessed it at all.
- Christopher is a classic example of unreliable narrators, whom I love in general.
Things that didn’t work for me
Christopher falls straight into the holes of the stereotypes of autism in the mainstream media.
I am glad I gave The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a second chance and I wish that I liked it more. Sure I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it as much I did the first time.
Similar books that you may like
Let us chat
Have you read the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? Or watched the play? Do have recommendations with a better Autistic/Asperger’s representation? Let us talk.
Do you remember a while ago I made a decision to focus on reading more classics this year? Well, I am definitely sticking to it, more or less. I am happy to announce that there are 7 classics of the 28 books I have read as on date. It seems to me that reading them is a lot simpler than reviewing classics.
Classics with little boys in them
This month on review shots I have picked up three classics that have little boys as one of their main characters. So let us get on with it shall we?
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Genre: Fiction – Children Classics
No. of Pages: 164
This rags to riches children classics revolves around Cedric and his family. His mother and the seven year old Cedric are one of those nice, kind and goody good people who barely make their ends meet in New York City. He is found to the inheritor to earldom in England and his newly found grandfather invites them back home. The grumpy, stubborn Earl already dislikes them even before he meets them.
How the charming boy turns the misanthropic grandfather around forms the rest of the story. I read Little Lord Fauntleroy as a part of the children’s classics challenge and surprisingly have never read it before.
It is always difficult to review a children’s book given that we are not the target audience. Despite that, I enjoyed this book and it would still be suitable for kids even in the current age.
Final thought: Clean and charming children’s tale
Recommended to: Children of 4-7 years old.
Turn of the Screw
Author: Henry James
Genre: Fiction – Classics Horror
No. of Pages: 131
This is one of the classic horror stories with a twist. When a young governess is given a chance to run a forlorn estate and teach two young and lovely children she decides to do her best. Troubles begin when the young boy is expelled from the school and she starts seeing a shadow man. Smitten by the master of the house and in an attempt to appear competent she decides to solve things by herself.
It appears that there are two dark creatures that want her innocent students and the estate’s haunting past makes it difficult for her to believe it is all her imagination. To make matters worst, the children seem to enjoy these visits and do not seem as innocent as she thought they were. How does she escape the nightmare and does she win in safe keeping the kids form the rest of the story.
I loved the ending that left things for the reader to decide if indeed the haunting was true or it is just an attention seeking behavior of the lonely and lovesick governess. The Turn of the Screw might be tedious read and frankly I was happy that it was a short story, I might have given up if it were any longer.
Final thought: Despite the intriguing story the writing seemed too tedious to enjoy
Recommended to: Classic and horror lovers
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: Fiction – Classics, Fantasy
No. of Pages: 204
The Giver is set in a dystopian world where everyone is assigned a job that they are good at when they turn twelve. This perfect world is devoid of colors, emotions and free will. Except for Jonas, who is chosen as the Giver, the receiver of memories – basically the only one who can question anything in the society.
But when he realizes what people are denied in seeking this apparent utopia, Jonas has a change of mind, He is ready to give up his assigned family and his prestigious role in the society to have a real life. What happens further and did he escape his society forms the rest of the book.
I read The Giver as a part of the Banned book club and I was surprised on why it was banned. While I liked the premise of the book I didn’t end up loving it, like many of my friends did. I understand that this is just the first part of the Giver Quartet and that might be a reason why it was such an underwhelming read for me.
Final thought: Short novel with bits of sci-fi element to it.
Recommended to: Science fiction lovers
Have you read any of these books? What was the last classic you read recently? Do you push yourself to finish a classic even if you don’t enjoy it? Let us chat.
As a liberal bookworm, it is quite natural for me to have an affinity towards banned books (not banning books) and collecting quotes from banned books. Here are some that I love and cherish.
Banned Book Week
The American Library Association celebrates the Banned Book week 2018 between September 23 to 29. Of course everyone knows that, it has been the talk of the book blogger world for the past few weeks. Why am I, someone who doesn’t live in the USA , posting about it, right?
I am an Indian, who lives at Dubai and I think banning books are more relevant to me than anyone else. In India books get banned for the weirdest reasons and as a country that has just decriminalized same sex relationship mere days ago, it may not be really surprising. More often than not, random books get challenged for religious reason, so much for being a secular country.
So my enthusiasm to give a voice against banning of books and the banned book week is quite understandable.
TEN QUOTES FROM BANNED BOOKS
I am sharing the quotes I love from the books that were banned in any given point of time in the USA. Let us get on with it.
― George Orwell, 1984
they say that time heals all things,
they say you can always forget;
but the smiles and the tears across the years
they twist my heart strings yet!
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Obscenity only comes in when the mind despises and fears the body, and the body hates and resists the mind.
― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
I want anything that breaks the monotony, subverts the perceived respectable order of things.
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.
― Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum
― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I had given up some youth for knowledge, but my gain was more valuable than the loss
What do you think about censorship? Do you have any favorite book that was banned or challenged in your country? Let us discuss.
I am sure no one would be unaware of the police brutality against black and the massive movement about #BlackLivesMatter in 2017. The Hate U Give could be easily one of those books that everyone, irrespective of the age group, should be reading if at all you want to be a part of the change or at least to know how these things happen and affect people.
About The Hate U Give
Book Name: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Fiction – YA
Characters: Starr Carter, Big Mav, Lisa, Seven, Khalil
Setting: The USA
Plot Summary of The Hate U Give
Starr, a 16-year-old African American kid, is stuck between two worlds. She lives at Garden Heights, a ghetto with gangsters and drug pushers. Her father Big Mav is a former gangster who took a blame and chose to go to prison so that he could get out of the system and lead a normal gang-free life. He wants their ghetto to be better and a safe haven for his kids.
She is one of the two black kids in her rich and predominantly white, prep school. She falls for a white boy, whom she has to hide from her father because he is ‘white’ and has two white best friends. Her mother is a nurse who wants to save her children from the ghetto life by taking them away.
Stuck between the two worlds and parents who have different views about their lives, Starr feels an outsider in both places. Starr understands her lives are universes apart and has never had to choose between them – until the fateful night, her unarmed friend Khalil gets shot by a cop in front of her eyes.
Should she remain silent, as her mother and uncle want her to be, and save herself from the wrath of the public and her own peers at school? Or should she put her life in danger, give a voice to the cause that may lead nowhere?
What do you do when your best friend is being a bully and a racist, intentionally or not? Do you confront her, putting your entire friendship jeopardy or pretend it was unintentional and you are just overreacting? How long can one hide a white boyfriend from your father?
Book review of The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give is essentially a coming of age story in the present American scenario, dealing with racism, bullying and violence. It is inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, obviously but is much more than that. It is an honest account of a strong black family that has nothing to do with the gangs or drugs but is put to trial because of their skin colour. I do not want to spoil your reading experience by giving out any spoilers.
It is not just the strong storyline that made The Hate U Give the NY! bestseller but the well-written characters and a sprinkle of humour that made the story all the more fun to read. The writing is just perfect for YA, not becoming too political, yet talking about all the main themes like a true social commentary.
Yes, there are few characters that were flat and the ending with the perfect boyfriend was just too good to be true. But hey, those did not seem to be a big issue to me, all things considered. It is, after all, a young adult book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
As a person who is not living in the USA, I may not have faced such an incident in my real life, but violence and prejudice against colour, cast and creed are no different in any other country. That is one of the things that makes The Hate U Give close to my heart. As someone who doesn’t want to be an unintentional racist or offend anyone without meaning to, this book is an eye-opener. It made me think about my stand and actions on certain topics which is exactly what was expected of this book.
The Hate U Give is surely one of the best books I have read this year. Books like this and Feel me fall makes me gain more faith in the YA genre. I have not stopped raving about this book to anyone I know even though I read this book about a month back. I can not recommend this book enough. READ THIS BOOK.
Similar reviews you might like
Let us talk
Have you read The hate you give by Angie Thomas? What are your favorite young adult books? Do you read young adult books? Let’s chat.