I am thrilled to be writing this review for the Goodnight Boy blog tour! I had heard a little bit about Nikki Sheehan because of her previous book, Swan Boy. However, I didn’t know an awful lot about this book, but when I read the synopsis, I knew I needed to read it…
A tale of two very different worlds, both shattered by the loss of loved ones. Tragic, comic and full of hope, thanks to a dog called Boy.
The kennel has been JC’s home ever since his new adoptive father locked him inside. For hours on end, JC sits and tells his dog Boy how he came to this country: his family; the orphanage and the Haitian earthquake that swept everything away.
When his adoptive mother Melanie rescues him, life starts to feel normal again. Until JC does something bad, something that upset his new father so much that he and Boy are banished to the kennel. But as his new father gets sicker, JC realises they have to find a way out. And so begins a stunning story of a boy, a dog and their journey to freedom.
*DISCLAIMER* I was sent a proof copy by the very kind publisher, Rock the Boat. This doesn’t affect my opinion in any way and therefore the format of the book may have changed during publication.
My initial review on Goodreads:
First of all, I’m going to talk about the format before I even touch the plot or characters. There are no chapters yet the book flows so well and has points where if you wanted to, you could put the book down and not lose your place. But why would you even want to put it down?! It is a really addictive read that I only put down when it was getting ridiculously past my bed time. For a 340-odd page book, it is a fast read and before you even know it you’ve read 100 pages. Some of the pages have just one sentence, some have a paragraph, some have a few words. This is so effective in certain parts of the story and has you biting your nails.
Okay, now for the characters, we have ‘JC‘ as our narrator, which is an abbreviation of his real name, which you don’t find out until the end! This boy is unbelievable. I really don’t know how to describe him but he is resilient and caring and loyal. Oh wait, I just did describe him…
Next, we have the lovely Melanie (MY NAME, HUZZAH!), who cares for JC as if he is her own child and who JC loves and idolises.
How could I forget Boy of course? Boy is their dog who forms an absolutely beautiful bond with JC and is a majorly important character. He is not just a dog but a best friend and companion to JC in dark times.
I cannot leave out the monster that is him. I’m not too sure if his name is even mentioned in the book at all, but JC refers to him as him. I’m not sure if its the same in every country but in the UK it is considered rude to use the term he or she instead of someone’s name, so I loved this detail within the book. He doesn’t deserve to be called by his name for the things he does.
Okay, so now for the actual plot of the story. As you read in the synopsis above, he locks JC and Boy in the dog kennel outside and this is where the majority of the book plays out. JC tells boy all about his tragic, desperate and downright sad life before this horror happens to him.
He talks about his country and where he ended up and how Melanie met him. It’s really eye-opening to some of the horrors of this World. I loved the format of him telling these stories to Boy whilst flipping back to the present as events unravelled.
I feel like JC moved to America, land of the free, away from the horrors of his own country, and moved into a new nightmare. His past is horrific enough, never mind this ‘bright’ future!
Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it is beautifully sad, touching and you definitely need to read it for yourself because no review could do it justice.
A beautiful, sad and touching story.
Again, I need to say a massive thank you to Rock the Boat for providing me with a proof copy and of course putting this blog tour together. A shout out to Cailin Neal for providing me with the opportunity and putting this tour together! I hope you enjoyed reading and make sure you read Goodnight, Boy, I bet you can’t not cry.