Review - Boy Nobody - Allen Zendoff

Boy Nobody (Boy Nobody, #1)Title: Boy Nobody
Series: The Unknown Assassin #1
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publication: April 25th 2013, Orchard Books
Pages: 352 Pages, Paperback
Source: From the library, but I will be buying my own copy!
Rating: 5/5
Who is Boy Nobody?
The perennial new kid at school:New town, new name... new mission.
The perfect assassin:Kill your target and move on.No fear. No sympathy. No remorse.
But this time is different. The stakes are deadlier. The memories are surfacing. And Boy Nobody is about to find out who he really is.
(Highlight white space to read spoilers)
Wow. That is all I can say. I never read thrillers, I'm not too fond of them, but when I saw this my interest was piqued and I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did! Boy Nobody was fast-paced, exhilarating and suspenseful and I couldn't recommend it more!

Boy Nobody is about a sixteen year old boy who was trained by The Program and is an assassin. His parents were killed when he was twelve by one of his friends working with The Program. Taken in by them, he is given the choice whether to live and become an assassin, or die. Four years later and he's one of the best of his kind. He shows no remorse, he's intelligent and he finishes the job quickly, then moves onto the next assignment.

When he is assigned with a high profile assignment of killing the Mayor of New York, Ben (his name for this assignment) isn't expecting it to be hard. Just like the rest of his previous jobs, maybe with a bit more factors to consider, but a job he has been doing for years, nonetheless. The Mayor is guilty of something and he deserves to die, anyone who is his target is guilty of something. Things, however, get complicated when he genuinely begins to fall for Samara "Sam", the Mayor's teenage daughter. Originally, Ben spends time with Samara "Sam" just to get closer to the Mayor, but as the days fly by Ben realises he's slowly starting to really like Sam and it's getting harder for him to take her dad away from her when she's already lost her mom. Although Ben loves spending time with her, he knows it's dangerous, Sam makes him start questioning things about The Program and his lifestyle, which he can't comprehend. However, when Ben appoints Howard, the school's nerd, to hack into the Mayor's files, things are revealed that no one could've suspected. Not even one of the best assassins...Ben.

This book was INCREDIBLE and I am waiting in eager anticipation for the sequel to be released, nine more days! This book made my heart pound, my jaw drop and tears fall. The ending shocked me and although the person was a villain, I couldn't help being sad when the person died. The characters were believable and I felt a connection to each of them.

Ben had such a tragic childhood that turned him into this person who feels nothing, who is strong and confident, shows no remorse, asks no questions. I love how the author slowly revealed Ben's childhood and there are some unanswered questions at the end of the books that makes me even more incredibly excited for the sequel. I loved Ben's character, and although he is an assassin, he doesn't kill anyone violently or out of rage, but instead only the people who are harming the safety of America. The author portrayed Ben as a sixteen year old in a very realistic light. He noticed girls and he wasn't afraid to make them aware of that fact. I'm really hoping that in the sequel we'll learn even more about his childhood that has shaped them into the person he is today. I loved reading as slowly the author peeled that hard layer off from around his heart, even if it was only a little bit. It was interesting seeing him cope with these new feelings and thoughts. I really like Ben and I'm excited to see more of his character development in the sequel

Another character I liked throughout most of the book was Sam, she was headstrong, rebellious, passionate and she spoke her mind. She was a very complicated character and the author wrote her extremely well. *spoiler* Despite the terrible things she did, I was sad when she died. I could see her and Ben really connected. She was just so troubled and it shaped her into the person who made horrible decisions. I felt so sorry for Ben as I didn't want him to be the one to kill her and I was shocked when he actually did.*spoiler over*

I liked the romance, it would be considered instalove as the story is set over four days from when him and Sam meet, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. The author wrote it very well and paced it extremely well. There was no "instant in-loveness" but instead the four days really showed how they interacted and learned stuff about each other.

I really liked the mayor as well, he seemed like a genuinely nice character and I was constantly pleading in my head that he wouldn't die. I can't really say more though, as it would be spoilery.

Howard was also a great character, the social outcast because of a disgusting thing he did back in ninth grade, but funny and extremely clever and I hope to see more of him in the next book.

The plot was amazing, as well as the pacing. I started this book at 8 in the morning on Sunday and by the time it was 8:45, I was already almost on page 100. I  generally never read a book so fast, but with this one, I did. I made sure to finish it on Monday though and not on Sunday as I wanted to story to last. I didn't want it to end at all! There was a plot twist at the end of the book which I wasn't really expecting, but due to a reviewer slightly spoiling it in her review, I knew the character had something to do with it. You really could sense that lingering feeling of apprehension that comes with not knowing if you really can trust someone and it added to the eery, slightly dark, atmosphere.

I also appreciated that the author didn't make this book gruesome. Ben was an assassin but he wasn't cruel or bloodthirsty and each of his targets were people who were involved in something to do with harming the American economy/population. I also preferred that Ben didn't take to bloodily murdering someone but instead gave them a quick injection which was painless and happened in within 4-6 seconds. So, thank you to the author for not creating a gruesome thriller.

I highly recommend this book, I barely ever read thriller novels but Boy Nobody may just have altered my viewpoint on the genre. I was completely absorbed in the book, the action scenes were written extremely well and I could picture everything with a  pure clarity in my head as if I were watching a movie. The characters were complicated and they were human and they all had their issues, but I loved most of them. This novel was raw and touching in some places and I was nearly in tears at the end. I couldn't believe the character was behind that and as much as it was wrong of the person, I had still grown to like them throughout the novel. I quite liked the romance and I would've liked to see more of it, as Sam and Ben were quite suited. Both trying to escape from the memories of a shattered past and looking into a dire future, they were both complicated characters but they were very realistic and it made me love them even more!

Boy Nobody was a gripping, enthralling novel that I highly recommend to anyone.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!