Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

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Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: Fast paced thriller for fans of the boy soldier and boy spy genre.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: May 2013
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408327609

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Zach Abram has a choice - death or death. He can either choose the death of others or his own death. At the age of 12, his parents were killed and he was abducted by a shadowy American government agency, trained as an assassin and give a simple a choice kill and keep killing or die. He is told that he is a patriot, that those he kills are enemies of the state, and as such deserve to die. But this is very state which will kill him if he makes one mistake. Zach is 16 now, but he isn't Zach anymore, he is whoever the agency wants him to be, and for 2 years he has gone from one target to another. He has used his youth as cover, befriending the children of his future victims and killed without remorse or emotion. But something is different this time, he has started to experience feelings and question his assignment. This will be his most dangerous mission yet, and if he fails he will have more to fear from his own side than his enemies. But if he succeeds what will the cost be to himself?

I enjoyed this story. The characters are quite well developed, so you do care what happens to them, although the most likable character by far is a minor character. The narrative switches backwards and forwards in time, but it did not cause interruption to the overall flow of the story. I found the fights a bit too over the top and unrealistic, but as a book for young boys, I would not rate down for this. I also found the book predictable. I had guessed the main twists from the beginning, but I was never quite sure how it would end, which choice Zach would make, and this kept me reading. There is plenty of action, a slight, mystery, and some real insight into the lives of teens as well. This book certainly has its good points.

But it has a few bad points as well. This is a very quick read, it only took me a couple of hours to finish the book. The chapters are usually only 2 -3 pages. The text is double spaced, which is a very good thing for younger readers, but there are far to many one and two word lines. I reached the point where I wanted to gag every time I read the words I projected my energy through space, it was terribly overdone, and I disliked the constant repetition and explaining every statement as if the reader is just a bit too thick to catch on I recognise these strategies may be helpful with a very young or struggling reader, but in my case, it did take from the enjoyment of the story. If this were purchased for a child with dyslexia, the double spacing would be brilliant, but the thin pages which show text through from the other side would not. I also feel due to some scenes of a sexual nature, that this book will not suit preteens, making this more appropriate for older teens and adults. As such I would have preferred a more adult style of writing. Finally, the author seems to be giving two very different versions of Zach's first meeting with his future handler and trainer. But despite all of my complaints, the strength of the story makes this worth reading even with its flaws. I felt annoyed by the writing style, but never lost interest in the story, and given a chance, I would read sequel I just hope the author strikes I projected my energy through space from his vocabulary.

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Buy Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff at

Buy Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff at


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