Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff
I think this book is the perfect fit for any teen who enjoys the Jason Bourne and Mission Impossible movie franchises. It it the fast-paced story of an unnamed teenaged assassin who is shockingly detached from his bloody occupation, making him even more deadly for his victims. He works for some secretive company called the Program, with his “parents” in contact with him by phone giving him new assignments. As the cover of the book says, “The Mission is Everything.” The story is told in the first person narration by the sixteen-year-old killer, who moves from place to place, always the new kid. He stays long enough to blend in, get close to his assignment, and kill the victim, always making it look like an accident. He’s been living this life since his “new friend” Mike assassinated his own parents when he was twelve, and then indoctrinated him into the Program. Now it’s the only life he knows. The problems start when he meets the daughter of his next assignment, the mayor of New York City. He begins having feelings he only vaguely remembers and starts asking his “parents” questions, instead of going along with the usual protocol like the mechanical killer he is. The question become if he can complete his assignment, and if he can’t, what then?
I truly enjoyed this book! I felt empathy for the main character, even though he is a trained assassin because the author Zadoff paints him in shades of grey. The writing is simple and straight-forward, carrying readers along with the teenager’s thoughts and ideas, creating a feeling if immediacy and of being inside his head. This is the first in a series and I cannot wait for the next installment. I would recommend this to fans of thrillers, mysteries and anyone looking for a relentless read.