My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff really surprised me. I knew I’d enjoy it, because the premise was intriguing, but the book definitely exceeded expectations. And it earns major points for unpredictability.
“Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school.” He’s a teen assassin for The Program, and he is very good at what he does. That is, until he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, who reminds him of his own father and who has a beautiful and enigmatic daughter. This assignment is different. He’s given a much shorter time frame, he’s facing opposition from outside forces, and his handlers expect him to complete his assignment as usual. Suddenly, it’s just not enough to know only that he must kill his target. He wants to know why, and it’s these questions and his distracting memories that are most dangerous of all.
This is the simplest version of the story. It all gets very complicated. Just when I thought I knew where things were headed, something would cause me to change my mind. Zadoff throws a few curveballs, but they’re thrilling and add depth to the story.
There were so many things I admired about this novel besides the original and unpredictable plotline. Boy Nobody, or Ben (his name for his newest assignment), has such a distinctive voice. I love the way he is always calculating, always analyzing.
Scenes alternate between present day and Ben’s flashbacks. His backstory unfolds slowly and the reader begins to piece together his past. This, of course, is all relevant to understanding what he does for The Program, why he does it, and also why he’s changing.
Boy Nobody is an action-packed yet thought-provoking novel. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about how it ended. All I know is, The Mission (book 2) has made my TBR list.
*Note: Apparently Boy Nobody is the UK title. The American titles are I Am the Weapon and I Am the Mission.
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