Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.
When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.
If I could only like one thing about this book, it’d be this: Ben. No question about it. I loved Ben’s character. His narration was beautifully pulled off and there was a lot to it that I really admired and enjoyed. Ben got the job done, clean cut and cool. He knew his actions were a little worse than questionable, but he never fell into this pit of despair “I’m so terrible”. But that self conflict though. The loneliness. The desire to see what’s beyond his current life. Wow. I really liked the way Allen Zadoff set that up and the writing itself. It was very impressive.
Problem with this book: Presence. It was kind of cool how Ben could sense someone following him. It was not cool however, how long it took him to realize who the Presence was. It was a little bit obvious, and I was a little peeved at how long it took Ben to figure it out. I mean–he’s a spy guys. A spy. Should be able to figure it out faster than the average person.
Other than that though, I really enjoyed this book. It was well paced and I loved the twists, especially the ones near the ending. The way the Program was run and operated, the way that everything turned out, I loved it. Very satisfactory.
Oh yeah, and Sam? Yeah. Sam was awesome. I loved her character, possibly maybe even more than Ben. She was a great character. One thing I didn’t like about her though was that after she fell for Ben, she lost a lot of her character. Maybe that was just me, but that was how I felt. 4.5 stars. I wouldn’t say for middle grade, definitely YA. Can’t wait to read more from Allen Zadoff.
pg count for the hardback: 337
Series: Boy Nobody
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