Synopses & Reviews
All Dylan Mint has ever wanted is to keep his Tourettes in check and live life as a “normal” teenager. The swearing, the tics, the howling “dog” that escapes when things are at their worst—nothing about Tourettes makes it easy to meet cute girls or have normal friends (or many friends at all). But a routine hospital visit changes everything—Dylan overhears that he's going to die. In an attempt to claim the life hes always wanted, he decides to grant himself parting wishes, or “Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It”. In an intimate portrayal of life with Tourettes, Dylans journey to come to terms with the disorder that has defined his life and his preconceptions about the world around him is hilarious, painful and, ultimately, utterly masterful.
"In this no-holds-barred coming-of-age story, Conaghan's U.S. debut, the British author introduces 16-year-old Dylan Mint, who struggles daily with Tourette's syndrome. When Dylan learns that he's likely to die in a few months, he sets out to accomplish three things: have sex with a girl, help his best friend Amir overcome prejudice, and get his soldier father home from Afghanistan. Naturally, nothing goes as planned, as Dylan discovers truths about his family, his own condition, and the people in his life. Focused through narration rife with bursts of profanity and Cockney rhyming slang, this story takes on an almost hallucinatory tone (' Ã¢Â€Â˜BIG GIANT SHITE' I shouted, then whooped a few times and then headed back to class in a massive daze'). It's nevertheless an uncompromising look at the effects of Tourette's, autism, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder on those who have them and their friends and family. Though the story occasionally goes astray amid a meandering plot and dialogue that takes effort to unpack, Conaghan, who has Tourette's himself, does an excellent job of portraying his unconventional and memorable protagonist. Ages 14 up. Agent: Ben Illis, the Ben Illis Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Insightful, engaging . . . The language is authentic, given the protagonist's disorder. This is an uninhibited and compelling look inside the mind of a teen living with Tourette's." —School Library Journal "Dylan is a wonderful character—hopeful in the face of death, loving despite the slurs and cruelty he faces, and incredibly loyal to Amir . . . This is an unusual coming-of-age tale that is thoroughly engaging." —VOYA "Charming . . . Dylan is smart and caring, and beneath his realistically portrayed condition, he is a normal teenager with relatable concerns. As Dylan would say, this one is 'A-mayonnaise-ing.'" —Booklist "The book does a nice job of showing a teen coping with more than his disorder . . . Teens will laugh their way through to find Dylans heart of gold." —BCCB "Readers will laugh out loud." —Library Media Connection
A blindingly funny, poignant, and unforgettable story of a teens struggle to confront his Tourettes and to take charge of his life.
About the Author
Brian Conaghan lives and works as a teacher in Dublin and has a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. When Mr. Dog Bites is his debut American novel.