Very impressive debut! This book was about three teenage boys growing up in Brooklyn and the challenges that entails. Although he came from a broken home and was raised by a single mother who had to work two jobs just to make ends meet, Ali was a really good kid. He was a loving and protective big brother, a loyal friend, and showed strong character when faced with adversity. In most realistic YA fiction, it seems the good kid is always being brought down by the troubled kid. In this book, it was a refreshing change to see the good kid, Ali, have a positive impact on his best friend Noodles. As painful as it must have been to watch his best friend reap what he sowed, Ali knew that his friend needed to suffer those consequences in order to bring about a change in his life. It made my heart smile to see the transformation of Noodles from selfish, angry, cocky kid to humble, apologetic, sincere brother and friend. It was a feel good story that I finished in two sittings. Highly recommended for all ages!
When I bought this audiobook on Audible, I had no clue what it was about or who the author was. My purchase was based solely on a search of books narrated by Nick Podehl and then narrowed by most fabulous covers (Yes, I judge books by their covers). This was a total WIN for me--I loved it! I am now a Shannon Messenger fan and will be reading everything she's written. I'm from Alabama so I'm used to people making fun of my southern drawl, but when she jokes on the Canadian accent, I laughed so hard driving down the road I thought I was going to have to pull over. I was really impressed with the authenticity of the characters and the originality of the story. I thought her writing style was fresh and age appropriate--it's nice to read something that I can wholeheartedly recommend to my teenage nieces who are constantly looking for something new and exciting to read. I can't wait to read the next installment!!
Wow! This is one of the best YA fantasies I have read in a while. The story was unique and I was captivated from the beginning. At times the imagery was so horrifically real it was difficult to read on, but the writing was so good I had to keep reading. The ending was definitely too soon for me but hinted at more good things to come. Impressive debut by Ms. Green. I would recommend to anyone who likes a great story with a little magic and I look forward to reading the sequel.