Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Boy Nobody

Boy Nobody
Allen Zadoff
$18, Hardcover
Little, Brown, 2013

Genre: Thriller

Age: 12+

Description: He has no name. He is the person that slips in and out without drawing any attention. Taken from his family at an early age and raised in The Program by Mother and Father, Boy Nobody is the perfect assassin—who would ever think twice about a young, innocent boy? He easily completes his missions—show up in town under a new name, make some friends, kill his target under “natural circumstances”, and conveniently move on. He was raised never to question his orders or even question who he is. It all changes though when he receives a new assignment. Befriend a really cool girl named Sam and kill her father—a highly influential mayor of New York City. Unfortunately for Boy Nobody this mission is a difficult one. Sam is not like the other girls he’s played in the past. The mayor reminds him of what little memories he has of his own father. Soon Boy Nobody wants to Be Somebody. Is he brave enough to break free from the Program? And what happens when his mission suddenly changes and his new target becomes Sam?

Opinion: This book is really, really good. I think it is a great book for reluctant readers or guys (and girls) who just don’t like reading. The chapters are short and snappy. There is action on every page and intrigue that keeps the reader turning page after page to find out what happens. Boy Nobody is a combination of a young James Bond and Jason Bourne. His book could easily be a gateway to those older adult thrillers and suspense series. I got to talk with Allen Zadoff at the School Library Journal’s Summer Teen conference and was excited to see that the book is the first in a series. It was also great to see that he is purposefully writing them so that they all stand alone and don’t have to be read as a series. When a number of my teen reviewers got done with the book they were in anguish crying, “Why, oh, why can’t this book be a series?” They were happy to find out that their wish will come true. The shocking twist of Boy Nobody’s mission changing from assassinating the mayor to Sam, the mayor’s daughter, was intriguing and I didn’t see it coming. The final end of the mission though will possibly require some Kleenex as the reader is hit with unexpected information about Boy Nobody’s mission. I can’t wait for the second book and neither can my teens.

Thanks to the Victoria Stapleton at Little Brown for the ARC for the YALSA YA Galley Group!

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