Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I Did ~ Book Review

So, prior to this reading I had never heard of this author and I am happy to introduce him to you. His name is Christopher Wakling. His novel is called What I Did, and it's a story from a perspective completely and entirely from the eyes and mind of a 6-year-old boy.

The most important and critical moment of the story happens early on, when Billy runs into the street. Billy and his father are the primary characters in this book, and it is their relationship that we learn about. The way they connect, the way they interact, the way they misunderstand one another, and then so many ways that impact their entire family, and the way this story goes.

This was an interesting book. The concept was a cool one, but not one I'd never seen before. I couldn't help but think of Room, by Emily Donoghue, and the perspective from the child's eye there, as well. Honestly, Room has been one of the best books I've read in the last few years, so I forced myself not to compare, so I could solely focus on this story.

Billy's train of thought is incredible. As the mother of an almost 5-1/2 year-old, I was completely overwhelmed by the way his mind worked. The way he made tangential connections, the way he repeated the words of his father over and over in his head. Right down to the "Son," part of a sentence. As soon as you saw that you knew that the words surrounding it had come from his father directly to him.

But Billy's innocence and wonder is forever changing. And what he goes through, despite not actually knowing it, is pretty scary.

Wakling touches upon something as significant as he does, and uses a lighter way of addressing it by walking us through via the words of a child.

That sentence was kind of rough - but it's truly the best way I can describe the story without giving it away. I know people sometimes want more plot before they pick up a book, but that's not my style here. I won't give it away before you ask me to!

I enjoyed this book. The underlying story was somewhat heavy and there were moments I found myself gasping, or wanting to grab little Billy and tell him what was happening so he understood better, or so someone did, but instead I just turned the pages to find out more.

I will add I was slightly disappointed with the ending. I felt it kind of hung out there without enough detail to wrap things up for me. I mean, we know what happened, but we don't know enough about how it all went down, and I feel a little cheated after the journey we took. But it's not for me to say if that's enough to discourage a reader - that's up to you.

* I received a copy of this book from TLC book tours to facilitate my review. All expressed opinions are completely my own. 


  1. Sounds very interesting! I added it to my "to read" list after Goodreading it to find out exactly what it was about. I am actually LOVING Bringing Up Bebe- I want to be the author's friend ;-)

  2. I often wonder what kids are thinking, and that's what fascinates me so much about this book!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. Gosh, I work with children every day and I don't think I could write from their perspective.

  4. oooh, that sounds interesting! Stella is 6, it would be intriguing to read something viewed from a child of her age.


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