I am tempted to just smash my keyboard because that's what I did right after I read Boy Nobody. I was speechless and I didn't realize I was holding my breath while reading the last pages. Releasing a big exhale, I pounded on my keyboard to release pent-up awesomeness. True story. So if this review doesn't end up convincing you, picture yourself releasing a breath out of awesomeness read and acquired and smashing your keyboard. Do you want to experience that for yourself? Do you want to read something that will make you do that? Grab Boy Nobody.
At twelve, his best friend killed his parents. At twelve, he was plucked and trained by The Program. At fourteen, he became a ruthless assassin. Now sixteen, he's supposed to kill the mayor of New York City. Boy Nobody does not have feelings, no emotions, only sensations. He's given an assignment and he finishes it. He's a patriot, a soldier, trained to kill enemies of the United States. For months, he integrates in his target's life, then kills him with one swift stab of a pen and leaves, moving on to his next assignment. With six successful missions in two years, he gets to his most difficult assignment yet: kill the mayor of New York City in five days. Complication: the mayor's daughter, Sam.
Allen Zadoff has crafted an antihero with no name as the main character and it works so well. Maintaining the anonymity of the protagonist creates the desired effect, he could be anyone. He didn't even describe the MC's physical features. But alongside the apparent distance this style creates, it also works the other way, making you feel for the character. Maybe it's just me but I have a soft spot for flawed characters. Label him an antihero and I am pretty much on his corner.
Boy Nobody is told in the first person point-of-view, as the main character tells us his story. We see into his mind, sift through his memories and think along with him. The narrator is calculating, with his actions and his words. He gauges situations, analyzes them and acts out of necessity, specifically, he kills only when necessary.
The protagonist takes on the name of Benjamin and enrolls in Sam's school to get close to her and her father. With the timeline of this mission so short, Ben gets into Sam's circle in no time. But Sam's difficult. She isn't like most girls and he can't quite predict and understand her game. Moreover, the mayor reminds him of his beloved father. During missions, he only thinks about finishing his assignment but this time it's different. Memories stashed away in a corner of his mind comes surfacing and he starts to hesitate, finding himself faltering, questioning The Program and breaching protocol. And when he falters, The Program comes for him.
All of the characters had dimension, depth and their own histories. This novel is a prime example how characters that you can't categorize as completely evil or entirely good are the best ones. Take for example the protagonist. He does it under orders for the greater good but who gets to decide what's the greater good? Who decides which life is more important than the other? As much as it's riveting, Boy Nobody also makes you think, as it raises bigger questions about good and bad.
The twists and turns in Boy Nobody totally surprised me, it had me reeling at the edge of my seat. Allen Zadoff completely pulled my chair out of me. Engaging is an understatement as reading Boy Nobody is a complete experience. I can actually picture it as a film while I was reading it. That vivid, that good. I was completely immersed in this world of Arab henchmen and unassuming teenager assassins with pens that can kill and phones that might have been invented by Q of James Bond with all the encryptment and "applications".
I recommend Boy Nobody to all action buffs out there and to reluctant teenage boy readers as the action is non-stop. Thrilling, gripping, compelling and at times heart-tugging, Boy Nobody is a book you won't be able to put down. In the end, your heart will go out to a heartless teen. I certainly cannot wait for the sequel.
-Dianne @ Oops! I Read A Book Againshow more
by Dianne @ Oops! I Read A Book Again