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Nix Minus One

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Nix Humbolt doesn't talk much. He's barely outgrown his "Fatty Humbolt" days, and although he is taller and leaner now, he has learned it is best to keep a low profile. He dreams about his only friend's girl, but of course she is hopelessly out of his league. Lonely and introverted, he is happiest in his father's woodworking shop, where he builds exquisite ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 15th 2013 by Pajama Press
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Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears on my reading, writing, movie and TV blog. Note that blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, and updates or modifications to the blog review will not be replicated here.

I rated this novel worthy!

(Some spoilers)

This is a coming-of-age story written as though it’s a long poem, but it’s not actually written in poetry. It’s merely prose set out in a format which superficially resembles the poetic. Frankly, this put me off to begin wit
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I used to read but now I don't It's bad I know
Or, A Promiscuous Girl Gets Her Just Desserts, as Told by her Histrionic and Permanently Depressed Brother .

I was gonna give this three stars. But as I thought about it, two. And then one. But here's why I started with three stars:

This is a well-written poetry-style book. The format didn't at all get in the way of the meat of the story. In fact, the few times where the author altered the general free verse stanza thing, man it was good. It helped me understand. This I did not expect.

And also
...more
Winston Stilwell
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nix is your typical, verbally challenged teenage guy. In Jill MacLean’s Nix Minus One we are able to scratch this surface to uncover something much deeper. Through an almost journal of free-flowing poetry of inner thoughts we are introduced to Nixon Humbolt. He is a man of few words, his emotions clenched as tight as a fist. He’s not the most popular, most athletic or the most intelligent guy in school, but he’s pretty good at being average which allows him to sink into the sidelines of his own ...more
Chantale Pard
What a beautiful book! I've been dreading having to read any novels in verse - I've tried a few times before but could never get into it - they always felt too cheesy. I had placed this book on hold after reading the synopsis - it sounded great, but somehow I missed the whole "free-verse" part of the format during my initial scan. If it hadn't have been for my YA Book Club Challenge / Read-Across-Canada challenge, I would probably have just returned it without trying. But a quick read of the fir ...more
Ms.
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The reason I picked up this book was the quote on the back: "The first time I came across the word introversion was the first time I recognized myself. Like, there was a category for me. I spend thirty hours a week in a school where extroversion is the only version." Wow. Nix Humbolt is the main character, quiet, brooding, bullied. Right at the beginning of the story, while bringing some mail to a neighbor, he notices a sad, lethargic dog in the yard. He decides it will be his mission to engage ...more
Stefanie Carlson cole
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tears ran down my face for at least half the book. This is my new favourite Jill MacLean book. She gets better with every novel. Perfect characterization. Also the fact that it's fully in poetry format is outstanding!
Christa Yoshimoto
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved this book. A favourite from the spring list from Pajama Press!
Graham
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books-read
Absolutely loved it. Almost made me cry on public transit.
Dani
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know I've said it before, but I'm a sucker for a novel in verse. This one got off to a bit of a slow start, but made up for it by the end. Some of the plot was a bit predictable (hence only 4 stars...really would prefer to give it 4.5) but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Jenna
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly brilliant. This is the absolute top book I am recommending right now for adults and teenagers alike.
Melody
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly beautiful
Abby Franks
Heart wrenching, but a beautiful and fun read. Loved Nix and Blue.
Suzanne
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it
In tiny Bullbirds Cove, Newfoundland, fewer families survive after much of the primary industry dried up from over-fishing. In first-person verse, Nix tells about his life: growing up and out of his fat boy childhood but not leaving behind his introversion and preference for working in his father's wood shop, video games, and crushing on his one friend's girl.

Nix begins to transform somewhat when he discovers an affection for the mistreated sad sack of a dog he finds at a neighbor's up the hill
...more
Arielle R
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nix Minus One was a heart-warming tale about a quiet boy, name Nix. He is bullied at school, and has nothing to be excited for except for the time he spends in his father's workshop- his only real passion is woodworking. But when Nix discovers that one of his neighbors has been mistreating his little dog, Nix sets out on a "campaign" to keep the dog against his parent's wishes. Meanwhile, his vibrant older sister, Roxy, starts dating of of the most popular and misbehaving boys in school, and tho ...more
Regina
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it
All teenagers have problems. Nix Humbolt is a fifteen year old boy who doesn't talk to people, neither does he like the idea of standing out or being noticed. Nix passes most of his days working in his father’s carpentry shop building boxes and tables as he tries not to be noticed by anyone around him; he wants to separate himself from the outside world. However, Nix has one dream; he has a crush on his friend’s girlfriend. But Nix knows that he will never be able to talk to her and she would ne ...more
Chloe Cook
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very well written and was quite surprising for me. I loved the character Nix, because he's such a fighter and he really does love his sister. I always love characters like that because my sister and I fight all the time, it's nice to read of a family with a perfect relationship. This book was a little slow in the beginning for sure, but once you endure the first few chapters it picks right up. I would recommend this book to anyone about 14+, I think many different people will be ab ...more
Meaghan Birtch
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*Slight Spoiler Warning*
Nix Minus One is a story about siblings and how they fight, but are always there for each other. Even after they are torn apart. They're polar opposite brother and sister Nixon and Roxanne. Nix has never gotten in a fight outside of online. Roxy has never missed a party. Lets see what will bring them together and what will tear them apart.
Jill MacLean could have done better on background information on who the characters were, there was some information but not enough to
...more
Leah Marie isaac
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So glad I read this book with only 8 days left in the year; had I started 2014 with this book the entire year would have been disappointing read after disappointing read because they wouldn't be my favorite book of the year. Thankfully, I have only 8 days of disappointed reading.


The realism is a much needed cold shower after a year of dystopia, cancer, and awkwardly serious romances between two 16 year olds. The poetic prose made the page dance beautifully as each sparse word carried more weigh
...more
Sue Saunderson
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean, the story written in free verse made it a quick read .. something I think today's youth find appealing, as it's not overwhelming. I loved the way Jill gave Nix an outlet in his woodworking. I could actually feel the smooth wood in my palms. Nix's woodworking allowed him to communicate and interact with the other characters in the story and proved cathartic in the end. I think Jill allowed Nix's relationship with the other characters in the book to ...more
Susan
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a book about drug use because of the cover but those are wood shavings. I really enjoyed this book. I have some trouble with reading free verse at times, as I mostly speed read and it requires me to slow down. I enjoyed the family of characters and the slowly-developing romance. The books hits on the themes of fitting in, finding your voice, developing your self identity and handling grief. Well worth adding to a school library collection, it will be enjoyed by fans of realist ...more
Naomi
Written in first person we hear about Nix Humboldt, a young man to shy to stick up for himself. Chase a hockey player intervenes on his behave when he is bullied at school. Nix loves his sister Roxy and will do anything for her. But Roxy has chosen to live dangerously. Nix starts walking the neighbour's dog to lose weight and to feed and comfort the dog. The dog's owner sells him and his new owner treats the dog even worse.
Maclean handles a number of topics, bullying,dysfunctional parents, teena
...more
Invalid Destiny
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was AMAZING!!! I just love the whole use of poetry and use of words and metaphors. You could just feel the pain Nixon feels, the anger, the grief and finally, the happiness. I actually went back, wondering when he really gets better. There wasn't a specific point. That's the beauty of this book. In real life, you don't wake up feeling better after tragedies. You gradually heal. It was so real and heartbreaking. I loved the part where he finally had his epiphany and was able to forgive ...more
Linda
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: white-pine-2014
I read this in only a couple nights due to the format of the book. For one thing, I loved the story and I found the characters really strong and Jill MacLean did a good job making the reader sympathize with the main character. I really did not like how it was written, I would of liked it a lot more if it was just regular format. I did not like the cover,it grossed me out, but overall, I liked this book.
Barbra
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nix used to be ‘the fat kid’ and although he has lost the weight, he endures bullying every day. Written in free verse, this sensitive story follows Nix as he deals with all life has to throw at him; his desire to help an abused dog, frustration in trying to protect an older sister heading for disaster, an old infatuation and a blossoming new friendship. Beautifully descriptive, with some mature content, this book is recommended for mature readers ages 12 to 16.
Laura Gatti
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nix Humboldt is a typical teenage boy who has difficulty finding his place in the adolescent world. He is an introvert who loves to spend time making things in his father's woodworking shop. His older teenage sister, Roxy, on the other hand, is a popular extrovert who falls for a boy who leads her to become weak and give in to peer pressure. Nix lies for his sister and thinks he is doing the right thing until one day Roxy's life leads to disaster.
Me
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I really liked the writing.

The writing was really amazing. I really like poetry books, they fly by so much quicker and this really was written well. I have always loved it when poems are not on the left side of the page, and spread out to create affect. I really liked it here.

I didn't really care for any of the characters, they were the deep thinkers and catastrophes that you see in John Green novels. But they didn't drive me crazy, so it was okay.

Natasha Tsakiris
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written in free verse, this is a story about friendship, first love, family and loss. The characters, the story, the loss were all too painfully real, which is why this story was so good. This is the type of story you'll be thinking of for days after reading and make you want to hug your family and never let them go.
Meghan
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Excellent free verse novel. I'm new to this format and wasn't sure I'd like it, but I loved it. Verse is powerful - I couldn't put it down, and read the whole thing in one sitting. I think any mature junior high student or highschool student would relate to this book and get a lot out of it - if not for the sheer enjoyment of reading it, then for the feeling of being - finally - understood.
Kim Trusty
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I win the lottery and start my film production company, this is one of the books I'm going to fight for the rights to. I loved the form and the characters and the setting (Newfoundland, one of my favourite places on the planet)... I'm off to buy this tomorrow so I can mark underline all the golden moments.
Hannah
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good, the poetry is kind of hard to get into, but after that its good. I got stuck in the middle, but this may be because of the Mortal Instruments series. I really like Nix but I think there is so "mature subject matter" that may be doesn't belong in this book.
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Where can i get a free ebook of this please 1 1 Jan 14, 2016 08:21PM  
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Late in 2003, Jill MacLean’s eight-year-old grandson asked her to write him a book. Yes, she said, of course I will. She didn’t stop to think that she’d never written a kids’ book, and hadn’t read any for more years than you’d care to know.

The learning curve was as steep as a small mountain, and rejection slips flew like snowflakes.

But in 2008, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating was published, follo
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