Sunday, 7 October 2012

When I Was Five I Killed Myself

So here's the book review I was meant to do ageeessss ago!

My timekeeping in regards to posting on my blog has a been a shambles as of late, but never fear, I shall be getting my act together!

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because of the title.
I had never heard of the Author, Howard Buten, before, nor had anyone told me about the book itself. I was just browsing on Amazon, and in the 'recommendations for you' but was this book, and from the brief blurb, it sounded pretty interesting.

So I ordered it, and the first pleasant surprise of this book was the size of it! It's so tiny compared to the usual size of books. Very travel/pocket friendly.

The book is only 200 or so pages long, so is a very short read.
It's told from the main character Burt's point of view, who is an 8 year old boy, currently in a child's psychiatric unit. The reason why Burt is put in this place isn't clear at first, but as the story continues, it becomes more and more clear as to why he is there.

The only thing that the reader does know is that Burt has done 'something terrible' to Jessica, a girl he likes in his class, who you find out is equally as messed up as Burt as the story unfolds. But what has he done to her that warrants his admission into hospital? That's what keeps you turning the page when reading the book.

There are moments when you read the book, and you think that Burt is this incredible sweet little kid who thinks, acts and does what a normal 8 year old does, but then there are parts where you furrow your brow and think 'da fuq?!' Buten is incredible at portraying this little boy as a monster at times, and as I was reading it, my brain was working at 100mph trying to figure out why this kid does the things he does?

You become attached to Burt very quickly, and very easily. It's told in first person narrative, completely from Burt's prospective. The genius thing about Butens writing is that the books is written as if an actual 8 year old wrote it. From the vocabulary, the the literary mistakes a kid would make, it was just.... GENIUS! That's one of the things I did love about the book.

I'm not gunna explain anymore about the book, as if you do plan to read it (which I think you should) you realise it's only a short book, and so summarising it in anymore detail will basically give away to much of the story.

I would call this book a drama/suspense, as you literally are wondering the whole time why this little boy is in a a children's mental institution! But the ending is definitely. a shocker. The final reason that Burt is in the hospital did not even cross my mind at allllllllllll, like, I never even comprehended that this would possibly be an ending.

Warning: this isn't an uplifting, happy go lucky book that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. It will make you feel things, just not happy things! But I can honestly say that I have never read a book like this, and would not minding reading more of a similar style.

So there you have it!
I'm currently reading the first book of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Phillip Pullman called 'Northen Lights'. I've only read about 1/4 of the book so far, but its bloody brilliant already!

Please comment about your fav books and why it's you're fav, as it could be my next read ;)



  1. It sounds like a good read :) x

  2. It's sounds really morbid. In other words, something I'd read and share with my horrified friends. :P

  3. This sounds like a very interesting read! Will check it out indeed.

    Philip Pulman books are aweeeesome. As are Dan Brown's. Both intelligent writers.

    (How many spelling mistakes can you spot in what I have written above?)

  4. In 4th grade I wrote a paper saying how I was thankful to be alive as by that point I'd had over a dozen near death experiences. Deadly fevers, bike accidents, falling out of a moving car on the highway into traffic, car accident, nearly drowning after being trapped in an alcove, and so much more. Basically at the tender age of like 8 or 9 I was sure I was going to die before I hit puberty.

    Perhaps I should write a book about it?

  5. Nice and something interesting to read...

  6. Hmmmm interesting book...thanks for the review i think i will give it a go!

  7. If you don't mind the urban fantasy (supernatural) genre then I would recommend The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison - it's based around the lives of 3 main characters after a 'magical awakening' where basically magical beings such as witch's fairies and pixies etc become exposed to the world. The main characters Rachel, Ivy and Jenks - I dare you not to fall in love with Jenks! Not in a romantic way, he's just hilarious! The first book is called 'Dead Witch Walking'
    I really enjoyed His Dark Materials - hope you will too :)

  8. Very interesting title!
    I have the Northern Lights books but I'm so confused by the movie that I'm avoiding reading it.
    Marian :D x

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  13. I read this book and I really didn't understand what burt did to Jessica. To me it sounded like he raped her? This is probably not it but can someone tell me what he did!!! Thanks x