- as we are coming to the end of the month, I won't use spoilers, but if you haven't read the book yet, be warned that I give bits of the plot away that you may not want to know.
I can't say I did not like it (or perhaps I should), but I can't say I liked it either! I never bought the kiddie's voice to begin with, so Jason's philosophising irritated me to various degrees - I mean take sentences like
Often I think boys don’t become men. Boys just get papier-mâchéd inside a man’s mask. Sometimes you can tell the boy is still in there
Sure, it could be that a budding thirteen year old poet can express something like that, but as I know it is coming from a man in his mid-forties it just does not buy me.
I also think the novel was a missed opportunity when it comes to bullying - not that I ever witnessed bullying as a kid (perhaps because the UK/US culture in this respect is miles away from Italian culture, at least when I was a teenager - in the 80's, so yes, the music references I did get), but it would have been more interesting for me if Jason had been e.g. one of the perpetrators of the bullying, e.g. a Ross Wilcox sidekick rather than an (unlikely) victim. Jason does find strength in himself to react, and it did not go on that long, really, unlike those horrible stories of desperation and despair that lead to a blighted life or a tragic ending of it that I've come to learn about after twenty years in the UK.
Yes, sure, in the end Jason's parents divorce and it is going to be tough, but we knew this all along from the very first nuisance call, and divorce comes after Helena has found a fulfilling job and Michael has lost his job (that'll teach him!), so all lose ends are tied, in a way.
I also found many of the characters totally unconvincing (e.g. Dawn Madden going off with Grant Burch a few hours after rowing with Ross Wilcox) - but I'll end my rant here