Shayne Blank is the new kid in town–but that doesn’t stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don’t understand him. He’s not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn’t add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There’s more to Shayne–and his story–than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne’s story is clear at all.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Now, I know that some people appreciate having questions unanswered at the ends of stories. Well, I only like unanswered questions when the future is held open. When the author makes it clear that everything is a possibility in the future. Sort of like the ending of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In every other case, I like a clean-cut, solid, realistic ending. And that’s why I couldn’t fully appreciate the ending of this book. Maybe I’m just not clever enough to figure it out, but this book made me really mad because of what happened.
As for the writing itself, I have no complaints. Pete Hautman was able to write hard-hitting scenes, brutality in it’s simplest, most horrible forms. That takes skill. Format was what got to me. In the beginning, I thought it was really cool how the POV went from Mikey to the investigation room. I don’t know if this is just me, but I got a real THE USUAL SUSPECTS feel to it. Later on, the book lost that cool feeling and was replaced with tiredness because what ended up happening for me was that Mikey’s POV got really boring and the investigation room POV got really interesting.
Now, you might say that that makes no sense because Mikey’s POV has all the action in it and the investigation room POV is just boring, but that wasn’t accurate in my case. The investigation room POV was not really the investigation room POV, if you get what I mean. It was Shayne’s narration. And to me, that was more interesting than what Mikey had to say. Because of this predicament, the pacing felt really off to me. It would speed up in Shayne’s narration, and slow down in Mikey’s, or vice versa. Like when, in Shayne’s narration, they ordered pizza. Or, in Mikey’s narration where Marie, Mikey and Shayne were just talking. It got boring in some parts, compared to the rest of the book.
All in all, two stars. It was an okay story, there was just so much that I didn’t like about it, especially how it ended and how it was formatted. I think it just wasn’t for me. To others, this book may prove to be really, really satisfying. If you like Pete Hautman’s voice or this book just piques your interest, you should try it. It’s an interesting book, just not suited to my taste.
pg count for the hardback: 170
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