Reading the plot summary I could only shake my head. A teenage boy and a piece of art and the aftermath of a terrorist attack. How could this be a great novel?
I’m glad I finally picked up this book. From the first page I was hooked. As with so many other great books, the plot isn’t what grabs the reader – it’s the characters and the great writing. The book seemed to speed by. So many great characters – Hobie, Boris, Pippa, Andy, and even Theo. I never thought I would be so engrossed in a book about a teenage boy.
But then the boy grows up and becomes a thoroughly obnoxious man. I found myself yelling at the book as Theo makes bad choice after bad choice. It’s a testament to how good the start of the book was (and to how invested I felt after reading that many pages) that I didn’t put the book down during the last third of the book. Horrible plot twists were heavily foreshadowed and characters seemed to suddenly turn nasty with little warning.
For the first two thirds of the book I can understand why this book won awards, but I did start to wonder if the judges didn’t make it all the way through the book. There is a reflective bit at the end that helps tie up the book and help the reader to understand the meaning behind the events of the book. It wasn’t enough to redeem the ending though.