I was interested in this at first, but it was rough around the ages, which means my interest declined the longer I read.
It’s about a 12 year-old, but the MC sounds more like he’s 30. You can trust me on this, since I spent years working as a middle school librarian, and while I know all kids are very different, this just does not ring true with middle school kids or their brain development, especially since he supposedly dropped out of school at age 9 after a rough childhood, which in most cases would have meant both his social development and education were also stunted or delayed.
I’d have settled for a very mature, older teenager, at minimum, so the voice is definitely off on this. Still, I let that go, because something here caught my attention.
There’s some definite editing issues with this one, and that also bothered me. It changes tenses sometimes, when it shouldn’t. It’s not intentional, but accidental, which is just poor editing. However, I also sucked it up and let that go.
Then there’s long descriptions about things that just don’t matter and don’t help the story forward, like what feels like 50 sentences on making or eating dinner, which isn’t interesting at all and doesn’t speak to the storyline or character development at all. It just ends up being a boring play by play of mundane details in the characters life, but hey, everyone eats, so I tried to let that go.
Then the story tries to tackled too many major issues at once, even though some of the issues were noteworthy and of interest, and the story which started out interesting begins to flail. So I tried to let that go, too.
By the halfway point, I realized I couldn’t keep letting things go and was losing ground and interest in the story. The start was definitely the best part. I do appreciate that this was unexpected and different. I also understand that fiction requires me to suspend disbelief, but this is just so unrealistic and unbelievable that at a certain point, that becomes absolutely impossible.
I reached a point where I couldn’t play along anymore, and absolutely everything seemed unrealistic and illogical after that. As a result, my interest flagged. I almost had to DNF, but since it was a short book, I powered through. I don’t really recommend this, but with a decent editor, this book probably could have been more readable. It just feels too much like an early rough draft, and if there had even been some strong beta readers it seems like a lot of these issues could have been fixed or addressed.