I was expecting something entirely different when I started reading this book - perhaps that's why it was so disappointing. I thought it was going toI was expecting something entirely different when I started reading this book - perhaps that's why it was so disappointing. I thought it was going to be about two friends growing up in the slums of Mumbai. I had high hopes for the story.
But instead, it was about 2 boys who lived in the same building, who were enemies (but it was rarely mentioned) because of an accident that happened days before Eddie was born. It was about all the trouble that precocious boys will get into in Mumbai. Basically, it wasn't anything like I expected.
The writing was good, to be honest - a little bit prosy at times, where I'd have to read and reread a sentence to understand what it was talking about. I liked both Ravan and Eddie most of the time, and felt bad when their mothers misunderstood their behavior and beat them for it. There was one sickening scene with Ravan and another (older) boy that made me want to throw up, but I loved the scenes about kite running.
The author would go off on tangents and at first I thought they were newspaper articles or something, but then during them he started including Ravan and Eddie's names in them, which made it really odd. These inserts told the story of Mumbai and were at times quite boring. I found myself skimming them to get back to the story - which eventually led nowhere.
I realize that not every book has action, and I'm OK with that. I wasn't expecting action, but I was hoping the whole time that SOMETHING would happen. But instead it's just about daily life and goes on and on - and then ends. So, while the story was beautiful for sharing the customs and lifestyle of the people of Mumbai, the story as a whole just didn't do it for me....more
I listened to this one as an audiobook, I'm not sure if that's what made me absolutely love the book or if it was the writing. Probably a mixture of bI listened to this one as an audiobook, I'm not sure if that's what made me absolutely love the book or if it was the writing. Probably a mixture of both. But, I'm going to review the audio version, because...well, it's what I "read". ;)
At first I didn't know what was going on - since I didn't have the book in front of me, I didn't realize that it was written entirely in letters. So the first letter had me completely confused. Then I got into it. I think if I was reading it, I would have gotten bored because nothing ever really happens, it's just this boy going on about his life and all these little random things. But when it's being read to you, by a narrator that does it *just so*, Charlie is endearing and lovable, and I just wanted to hug him.
The book is set in the 1991/92 school year and follows Charlie's first year of high school. He's a very sensitive boy (he cried, a lot), and pretty clueless (as any 15-year-old can be). The things he goes through and the decisions he makes are laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking at the same time. There are several "adult" themes in this book - sex, drugs, sexual orientation, rape/molestation, among others.
The ending reveals a shock that I didn't see coming - even though I'd read quasi-spoilers that had mentioned it, I'd forgotten them because I was so engrossed in the narration of the book.
To me, this book is a heartwarming story of a young boy coming into his own, a must-read for everyone! (But I really recommend the audiobook version...)...more
This was a good book...lots of twists and turns in it. It was interesting to see the characters develop from their childhoods, and they did have someThis was a good book...lots of twists and turns in it. It was interesting to see the characters develop from their childhoods, and they did have some pretty bad lives. If that helped with their poor decision making skills later on in the book, I don't know. It was an entertaining book, but I didn't find myself especially drawn to any of the characters, or the story that believable. Yes, I believe many of the things IN the story could have happened, but issues that run as deep as what they were dealing with wouldn't be so easily solved or moved past....more