What I Think About Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” So Far

Mark Haddon is a God.

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I was originally going to wait until the end and do a little review, but honestly, that was impossible. The book is just that good. So this post will give you a look at what I’m reading.

The book begins with our main character, Christopher Boone, looking out of his window. It’s seven minutes past midnight and in the darkness, Christopher spots that his neighbor’s dog is dead. In effort to help it, Christopher approaches the dead dog and begins to cuddle it, not knowing that it would lead him to a few hours in jail.

Beyond that, Christopher attempts to solve the mystery of the dead dog, while also tapping into his personal life.

Christopher is diagnosed with a nameless (for now) disease. How good his days will be are based off how many red or yellow cars he sees. He’s anti-brown and yellow stuff and his food can’t touch. I quickly find out that he’s an upcoming novelist, chronicling his own struggles with social skills and the unknown.

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(Here’s where a spoiler comes in…)

Around somewhere in the first half of the book, Christopher recalls the day his mother died. For him, it was a Super Good Day because he made a card for her with some red cars drawn on it. Little did he know that she’d later die after from a heart attack.

Now, I’m going to say this before I get lost the mid-book pros and cons. I love this book for many reasons, but for one in particular: it makes me think. In the chapters following her death, I learned that Christopher’s mom was having an affair with the husband of the dead dog’s owner. And boy was that a shocker! I’m starting to think the affair played a part in the heart attack.

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PROS:

1. It’s raw and honest. Christopher doesn’t hold back with his feelings, he’s blunt. Maybe that’s a side effect of his condition, I’m not sure.

2. It’s consistent.

3. The story isn’t long and dragged out.

4. It isn’t safe. What I mean by that is it’s a risk-taking book, talking about anything from relationships and death to drugs and religion.

5. It’s not a typical book in that there’s no type of structure. It’s just what he’s thinking as it’s happening*.

CONS:

1. It’s mathy. There’s too many math references for a book blogger to handle. WORDS, ONLY POR FAVOR!

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2. It’s random. Christopher sometimes just throws out random characters or thoughts about how he wants to be an astronaut or about things he’s seen in America.

3. It’s not British enough. There’s only a few hints of English culture, which tests it’s British authenticity. Apparently the book is set in England.

4. It’s hard to follow. For someone who has a difficulty with following along, this may be hard for them because a lot of sentences are run-ons.

5. I don’t know enough back story. And this angers me because Christopher’s condition is not presented early on in the book and leaves me in the dark.

6. *It’s not a typical book. Not only do the chapters jump around because they are based on prime numbers, but they also end like a slam on brakes.

But besides that, this book has definitely made it to Courtney’s Top 10 Books of Her Life! If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?!?!

Until we read again,
Courtney

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Filed under Book Blogger Struggles, Life, Writing is Glorious

The 4 R’s of Getting Over a Finished Book

We’ve all been there.

You’ve just put down your newest 300-pager, the last line is read, and you’ve lost roughly 31 hours of sleep.

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In today’s post, I’m going to teach you how to get over that feeling of emptiness as soon as you finish a book.

1.) Realize: the first step is to obviously realize that the book is over! You can’t change the past. You read it. You know the characters front and back. The fangirling needs to subside so that you can move onto another relationship. It’s okay. You can do this.

2.) Reflect: reminisce. Go ahead. Filter back the wonderful times you shared with your book. Cry a little if it hurts.

3.) Rant: this part is crucial in the grieving process. Ranting allows you to let go. Be free. Complain about how the ending wasn’t the ending you wanted. How the the MC (main character) should’ve seen the trouble from the start. How the parents were too unrealistic. Now you can breathe easier…and move on to the fourth and final step.

4.) Refuse : now, I’m going to say that this is optional. You can either refuse to ever go back to that book again because the feels are too much to handle, or if you have separation anxiety, then you can can revisit the emotions. This is kinda like an exception step. But if you don’t have to do it, DON’T.

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So, remember: your book IS NOT a person. It won’t bug you if you don’t contact it. It can’t harass you about getting back together. Your book is not real. (Unless it’s by John Green or Nicholas Sparks, then your books are as real as it gets.)

Separation hurts, but it’s apart of life.

And there’s always more books in the library.

Until we read again,
Courtney

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Filed under Book Analogies, Book Blogger Struggles, HELP ME!, Life

Wattpad’s Unsung Hero

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Wattpad.

It had to be one of the strangest words I’ve ever heard in my life. And I didn’t know much about it. All I knew was that it existed and you could write stories on it.

My Wattpad journey began in the winter of 2012, when I was a sophomore in high school.

I don’t really remember how I found the iPhone app (originally a website ) but I did. And I rushed to school to tell my friend about it. And then she joined. And then another girl that we knew told us she had an account and we read her stories. And by the end of the year, we’d created a small Wattpad Community of our own.

On Wattpad, there’s no rules. You can do, create, say anything. And in result, you get praised with votes and comments and the Watty Awards.

This has brought me to shining a light on my all-time favorite Wattpader: eavesdrop_ and her novel: Smudged Ink!

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I first embarked on SI on a plane ride from Vegas to home, finishing all 101chapters in one sitting.

It’s the story of a boy named Xavier who’s current life is wrapped in a girl named Serenity. (This kinda reminds me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The entire novel, neither characters speak to one another. And as for poor X, well…he lives vicariously through her, following her around in the shadows and looking through her window.

But there is a happy ending (kinda.): Serenity FINALLY writes to him…while she’s in rehab.

It is by far the best Wattpad story I’ve read in 2 years. With it’s powerful and moving sentences about borderline rejection, to it’s tugging of heartstrings when Serenity finally writes back, Smudged Ink is for any YA junkie.

Also: if you have a Wattpad novel you’d like me to review, please tweet me or leave a comment!

Until we read again,
Courtney

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Filed under Life, Unsung Authors, Wattpad, Writing is Glorious

Books are Like Boys

Picture it:
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You’re in the library trying to find a copy of the Maze Runner (or TFiOS to see how the movie compares or 13 Reasons Why because you’ve been living under a rock and finally decide to read it.) just before the movie is released, and you stumble upon a fresh-faced fine son of a gun sitting on the shelf above TMR.

What do you do?

Do you:

A.) decide to check out The Maze Runner because you heard it was good and there’s a movie coming out so duh why not get it?!
B.) carefully weigh your options. The Maze Runner will be a movie. But, you could be a literary hipster if you get the other one.
C.) read the first line of the hipster book, fall in love, and leave the Maze Runner to the birds.

If you picked B, you’re the path to a successful love life.

As for me, I’m torn between A and C.

I do admit that I go for the “bandwagon” books. But I never turn down a unknown book. #hipstaplease

Now you’re probably wondering how this relates to the title.

Well, think about it this way (and this is my personal opinion. I’m only saying this from experience):

Books are like boys.

They set you up for failure. Both look wonderful on the outside.

So crisp and pristene.

So kind and loving.

But as soon as you open them up, there’s a 50% chance that you will hate their guts because they caused you so much pain.

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But there’s another 50% chance that you’ll fall in love in love with them. And they’ll take up all your time. You will be up all night with them. Looking deep into their eyes to see their soul.

That is until they rip you to shreads by cutting you off at the best part!!

So my advice to you is, whether your boyfriend/crush is a book or your book is your crush/boyfriend, think about the benefits of each. Yeah he may be new and shiny and popular, but after you take him home, he might suck. And then you remember how much money you spent on him.

And then you consider returning him (or in the real world: breaking up with him, ignoring his texts, or ranting to your best friend about him).

All in all, be careful.

Just because he’s a NY Times Bestseller, doesn’t mean he’s your NY Times Bestseller.

Until we read again,
Courtney

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Filed under Book Analogies, Boys, First Post, Life