This marks the end of my Avi reads kick! It's been a fun ride. I know he has written a lot more novels but, sadly, I do not have any more with me... yet. >:3 One day, I hope to re-visit Avi's works and enjoy other stories he has created. However, for now, I shall call it a day and review this book.
This book was... okay. I hate to say this because Avi truly has become one of my favorite authors, but this is not among my favorites. Not to say it is a bad book... I just didn't like it as much as I liked his other work, like Nothing But The Truth. This one is a lot slower paced and not as thought-out, in my opinion. I felt as if some of the characters weren't fleshed out, the plot was a bit slow moving, and the ending was just... unsatisfying. It's a shame because the premise of the story was so promising.
The writing was good. Avi's writing usually is good to begin with. I have no complaints there. My complaints has to do with the pacing. I felt that a lot of the book was slow-moving, leaving a lot of what happens in the story coming across as dull. However, when it picks up, it picks up well! I just wished it was like that all the time because, I am not going to lie, there were parts of the book (that I won't talk about because of spoilers) that I just had to force myself through because I felt it was a bit boring. Still, Avi is a great writer so I knew that, even though parts of the book wasn't that exciting, once you got to the meat of the story, it was going to be great (and it was).
The characters were all okay but a lot of the side characters just got pushed to the back burner and weren't developed much at all. I think, aside from John (main character), no one really got character development. All of John's family members; from his father, mother, sister, and great-great-aunt; stood the same from the beginning to end. The same thing could be said about Sary, who plays a key role in this story. Every one of these characters were one-dimensional... kinda disappointing really. I would have liked to see more of them than was shown. Especially with Sary. She seemed to be a character that had a lot of depth to her but, for whatever reasons, her character was never explored.
The ending was just a huge disappointment. I felt like it ended abruptly. In fact, only a few things got answered whilst the rest was left to the reader's interpretation. As I've said in the past, I don't mind that... as long as it brings the feeling of closure... which this book did not. I wanted to know a little bit more. A LITTLE bit more would have been nice. Also, I know I am being vague but I don't want to ruin the book for you just in case you decide to read it.
Which I think you should do. It's not a BAD book. It just leaves a lot to be desired. The writing was good and a lot of the story was engaging. Just don't expect it to be a fantastic read where the characters grow and the ending was satisfying... because it wasn't. Give it a try anyway! You might enjoy the story a lot more than I did. We all have different reading tastes, after all~