Friday, 12 December 2014

Book Review: When Mr Dog Bites*

So, as I mentioned in my blog post a couple of weeks ago, I have been contacted by Waterstones to be a part of their Blogger Book Club. They sent me a book to read, which I was supposed to chat about with two other bloggers in a video. However, one of the bloggers dropped out last minute and didn't reschedule, so I was asked to write a book review instead.

The book is called When Mr Dog Bites, by Brian Conaghan, and you can buy it here. Waterstones sent me the book for free, but this review is entirely my own opinion and thoughts. When Mr Dog Bites is about a boy called Dylan who has Tourette's syndrome. He is sixteen, and is experiencing a pretty typical teenage life of fancying girls, being picked on by the school bully, and texting his best mate Amir. However, when he is at the doctors with his Mum, he overhears something which sets into motion a lot of life changes.

Initially when I began to read the book, I really noticed the amount of swearing and slang the author uses as a part of the voice of Dylan, but after a while that became a part of his character and I barely noticed it. In fact, I think it helped me to get into Dylan's head, making him seem far more real. The frequent talk about Who Wants To Be a Millionaire does date the book, even though it was only released earlier this year, which I think this is a shame, as the rest of the book is pretty timeless. 

As When Mr Dog Bites is classed as a teenage book, don't expect sharp twists and turns, right from near the beginning I could guess what the main twist was going to be; however I wanted to keep reading to see if I was right, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The characters are funny, realistic, and you genuinely care about what happens to them in the end.

Before reading this book, my entire knowledge of Tourette's came from watching The Undateables (a channel 4 documentary about people with disabilities going on dates), so it is safe to say that it was pretty limited. Brian Conaghan actually has Tourette's himself, so writes in a way which isn't preachy, clinical or inaccurate about the condition, allowing me to understand what the world is like for someone who may just blurt out the most inappropriate thing at the worst moment. This was fascinating insight, and added an interesting dimension to the book. My favourite way to learn about things is through fiction books, and raising awareness through teenage books is a brilliant way to spread knowledge about a condition in a non-traditional way.

I would recommend this book to adults and teenagers, especially to anyone who wants to learn more about Tourette's, or who just wants an interesting easy read. If you don't like swearing though, keep away!

Thank-you very much to Waterstones for sending me the book, and I hope you have enjoyed this review.

Rachel x

1 comment

  1. Great review, sounds like an interesting read :) I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin. If you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks!

    Camille xo


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