Google+ Reading Teen: Quick-Fire Review: Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Friday, July 12, 2013

Quick-Fire Review: Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 11, 2013)
Language English
ISBN-10 0316199680
ISBN-13 978-0316199681
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 a 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, moving on to the next target.
But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.
In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

At a Glance:
Spy book. Though I've never read many book like this, I was immediately interested when I heard about this book. It seemed very Bourne Identity-ish, and that being one of my favorite movies, I really wanted to read this book.

I really like the cover on this book. It immediately puts mystery around the main character, mystery that continues throughout the entire book.

The action in this book completely awesome. The plot was very fast-paced, and the action scenes were some of the most well-written that I have ever read. Zadoff's writing style is very short and to the point, and though I don't always enjoy that style of writing, it worked very well for this book.

The romance in Boy Nobody was, if I'm honest, not too great. Ben, of course, was very confused the entire book about the feelings he has for the love interest, since he was trained his entire childhood to stay away from that kind of attachment. So, besides the one time he actually hangs out with this girl, the romance never really gets anywhere.

You know that feeling you get when you're watching the Dark Knight and you know that The Joker is such a fantastic character and there's that part of your brain that is sort of rooting for him, but then you feel bad because he's such an awful guy? That's the sort of confliction that was going on in my mind. Because Ben, AKA Boy Nobody, is very much an anti-hero in this story. Imagine James Bond and Jason Bourne both combined into a 16-year-old boy. He's willing to do anything to finish an assignment, and he utilizes both his aloof, Bond-like charms and his calculating, Bourne-like cunningness in practically every situation. Since the book is told in a first-person perspective, it is very interesting to see all of the little things he notices about people. He always treats people as if they are trained killers, and always uses caution when dealing with a situation that has any possibility of going bad. He's extremely intelligent, and only fights when absolutely necessary. But when he does fight, his opponents don't stand a chance. I would read many more books told from Ben's perspective. He would definitely make any book sound more interesting.

Something I loved:
I loved how smart Ben was about every detail of his experiences in the book. He noticed things that nobody else would notice, and always acted accordingly. Whether it be taking a subtle step backwards that nobody notices to stay out of the range of a knife that somebody is holding, or beating a highschool bully to a pulp to send a message, this guy is the definition of the awesome spy that every boy wants to be at some point in his life.

Something(s) I hated:
I really didn't like how Ben used women in this book. They were all tools used to accomplish a goal, and sometimes to satisfy his 16-year-old desires. Of course, this kind of thing is seen in every Bond movie ever released, but I still didn't like that aspect of this book.

Would I recommend it?
Definitely. Anybody who likes a mysterious, action-y spy thriller should read this book. It's definitely worth it.

Will I buy/keep it?
I am keeping this book, and will be loaning it out to friends.



  1. good to see the trailer! and good to know this release!

  2. I have been interested in this one since I heard about it. It sounds really good. I think it's a book I would enjoy. I think Ben might bother me a bit, but I do love a good mystery book! Great review!

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  4. Austin, so glad you loved BOY NOBODY! Great review!!!!
    I was totally drawn into the story, too. I didn't feel like Ben used Sam, other than to fulfill his mission, which was the whole point. But then Sam used Ben, too. She even said so. I dunno, it seemed mutual to me, including the off-scene activity. I'll read it again.
    On the other hand, Sam's friend definitely was used for the purpose of the mission, so I get that point. She went after him, too. In the end, he protected her. I don't think he ever kissed her, right?
    I'm totally sucked in and can't wait for the next one. The ending - wow!


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