Saturday, April 26, 2014

Teen Review: Realistic Fiction

The Curious Incident of the
Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Realistic fiction
226 pages
High School reading level
Reviewed by
C. Paster, 9th grade

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a coming-of-age novel written by the British author Mark Haddon. The 221 pages have you constantly on edge waiting to see what will happen next in the mind-bending plot. The story is narrated by the mildly autistic 15-year-old Christopher Boone. He gives us in-depth thoughts and opinions that could not be achieved by any other narrator. The Curious Incident begins with a sad and quite disturbing event: One morning Christopher steps outside only to see his neighbor’s poodle lying dead on the lawn with a garden fork protruding out of it. This sickly scene causes Christopher’s inner Sherlock Holmes to be unleashed as he decides that he will be the one to solve the case of the dog’s murder. This is the event that leads down the winding road that will reveal the truths and lies that make up the hectic life of Christopher Boone.

This book was a thrilling read that had my heart beating crazily as the plot constantly took unexpected turns. Getting inside the head of autistic Christopher Boone was something new and quite interesting. It really gave you a good glance at what the world may look like to all of the autistic kids out there. The author does a spectacular job of illustrating Christopher’s feelings and emotions throughout the entire story. This book, unlike many other realistic books that I have read, gave off a perfectly structured world that was completely believable. As I turned every page, not once was I under the impression that it was only a book. The author puts you perfectly inside Christopher’s head, and it’s as if you are the main character, fully connecting and agreeing with every action he makes. Although in some stories rambling would be rather annoying, Mark Haddon was able to pull it off. I didn’t find it aggravating in the least. In contrast, the rambling of Christopher actually made me connect more with him on not just a surface reading level, but emotionally too.

In conclusion, this was a wonderful read. It caused me to take a new look at the world. A warning: The book does contain a little swearing, but to me that just made it all the more realistic. I give The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time a final rating of 5/5. I absolutely loved the book.

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