Boy Nobody

( 18 )

Overview

They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die ? of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York ...

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Overview

They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die — of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Zadoff (Since You Left Me) switches gears and shines in this violent, entertaining twist on the teen spy novel. His unnamed 16-year-old protagonist lost his identity when he was kidnapped and his parents murdered. Forced into a grueling training program, the teen now gets sent on undercover missions, befriending the children of powerful targets, getting invited to their houses, and killing their parents. He never questions his orders or actions until he’s given five days to infiltrate a ritzy private school and kill the mayor of New York City. Between the unreasonably short timetable and his attraction to Sam, the mayor’s gorgeous half- Israeli daughter, he begins to wonder about his purpose and question the secretive Program that has trained and groomed him. Zadoff doesn’t break new ground, but he builds a tense and exciting story with a strong cast; Sam’s overprotective friend Darius and her frenemy Erica, in particular, are more complex than is typical for characters in those roles. If Zadoff occasionally pushes it with the gadgety spycraft, the blunt and hard-edged narration and twists will keep readers riveted. Ages 15–up. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky, Stuart Krichevsky Agency. (June)¦
Barry Lyga

"When James Bond was a little boy, he wanted to grow up to be half as hard-core as Boy Nobody."

Booklist
"Operating in the tradition of both James Bond and of Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese (1977), Boy Nobody is an auspicious first volume in a promised new series of action-adventure thrillers that will keep readers clamoring for more."
Library Media Connections
"I cannot wait to get this title, first in a new series, into the hands of my male students who are often at a loss for material to read."
From the Publisher
Praise for Boy Nobody:


A 2014 Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

* "Zadodff shines in this violent, entertaining twist on the teen spy novel. [Boy Nobody is]...a tense and exciting story with a strong cast...blunt and hard edged narration and twists will keep readers riveted."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* "[Boy Nobody] is like a darker version of Alex Rider, [and] Thomas in James Dashner's Maze Runner series... Fans of such fast-paced action novels should love this first installment in the Boy Nobody series."—VOYA (starred review)

"Operating in the tradition of both James Bond and of Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese(1977), Boy Nobody is an auspicious first volume in a promised new series of action-adventure thrillers that will keep readers clamoring for more."—Booklist

"Fast, furious, and fun...Plenty of action and drama, and hairpin turns [that] will keep readers guessing; a twist in the end will have them begging for more."—Kirkus Reviews

"A promising start to an exciting new series."—SLJ

"I cannot wait to get this title, first in a new series, into the hands of my male students who are often at a loss for material to read."—Library Media Connection

"When James Bond was a little boy, he wanted to grow up to be half as hard-core as Boy Nobody."—Barry Lyga, New York Times bestselling author of I Hunt Killers

VOYA - Diane Colson
No one has called him by his real name for years. He lives from one mission to the next, slipping into new identities as smoothly as changing coats. He does exactly what he is told: Find the target and kill. On this new mission, he will be called Benjamin. It is going to be a tough one. Benjamin has just five days to get close enough to the mayor of New York for a quiet assassination. The plan is get to the mayor through his daughter, the enigmatic beauty, Sam. This turns out to be too easy. Benjamin quickly meets her at her high school and gets an invite to the mayor's apartment for that very night. It could be over on Day One...but it is not. Things are off-kilter. For one thing, Benjamin is experiencing emotions, which cannot be allowed. And there are dangerous men following him as if they anticipate his every move. Benjamin is like a darker version of Alex Rider, equipped with gadgets and able to fight several grown men at once. Like Thomas in James Dashner's Maze Runner series, the circumstances of Benjamin's life are grim. Fans of such fast-paced action novels should love this first installment in the Boy Nobody series. Also recommend this to mystery fans who do not mind a little grit in the story. Reviewer: Diane Colson
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Boy Nobody is the new kid in school but in reality he is much more and much less than that. Constantly changing schools, always with a new name and identity, Boy Nobody is really a highly trained assassin working for a shadowy organization known simply as The Program. While his missions constantly change they always end in the same way with Boy Nobody eliminating his "target" and then fading away like a wisp of smoke. Living life in the shadows and along the edges, Boy Nobody has a history but it is filled with violence, betrayal, and intrigue. Now, in his latest assignment, Boy Nobody takes on the task of completing a mission in record time. However, along the way as he draws himself into the inner circle of trust his latest "target" possesses, Boy Nobody encounters a new opponent in the form of love, doubt, and potential attachment. Can Boy Nobody carry out his assignment? Is he capable of killing a person he falls in love with? Is The Program really what it seems to be? Written at a blistering pace with taut noire-like dialog, Boy Nobody is the first book in what is intended to be a series focused on the espionage and assassination efforts of an anti-hero whose tangled life breeds to be unraveled by both the author and his readers.While this iconoclastic story does have elements of plot and characterization that ask the reader to suspend disbelief for periods of time, these slight deficits are more than made up for by the clipped dialog and descriptions that help make this book an express train ride to the final page. At the conclusion of this initial chapter in a proposed series readers should take a breath and await the next story about Boy Nobody hoping to learn more about his secrets, feelings, and dark duties. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
Kirkus Reviews
An unnamed teen assassin finds himself torn between a girl and his mission. Zadoff's 16-year-old protagonist saw the life of his father ripped away by a close friend when he was 12. Since then, he's been under the employ of "Mother" and "Father," the heads of an organization that uses children as hired killers. He's one of the best: He's professional and always finishes the job smoothly and cleanly without a mess. The killings all have low levels of blood and gore and usually look like accidents so he can escape the scene without any suspicion. When he's charged with taking out the mayor of New York City, however, things get complicated—especially when he crushes on the mayor's daughter, who goes to his school. Zadoff's chapters are short, staccato and to-the-point, mirroring the narrative voice of his protagonist. His paragraphs rarely run over four lines long. His nameless, tough-as-nails lead character has just the right balance of cunning, heart and conscience to win the respect and admiration of many teen readers, even reluctant ones. The plot speeds along seamlessly with plenty of action and drama, and hairpin turns will keep readers guessing; a twist in the end will have them begging for more. Fast, furious and fun. (Thriller. 14 & up)
Library Media Conenction
"I cannot wait to get this title, first in a new series, into the hands of my male students who are often at a loss for material to read."
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this fast-paced thriller, readers quickly learn that 16-year-old "Boy Nobody," a Jason Bourne-like assassin, doesn't have friends. He receives his assignments from a clandestine group called "The Program." Intelligent and skilled in combat, he's been trained to ignore sentiment and emotion in favor of finely tuned instincts and intuition to kill. But nagging questions about his past, The Program, and his role in it are brought to the forefront when his handlers, "Mother" and "Father," give him a new mission on an accelerated time line. The latest target is beautiful Sam Goldberg's father, who's also the lauded mayor of New York City. This novel is predominately narrated by Boy Nobody in first-person present tense (save for the occasional revelatory flashback). The teen characters are world-weary and mature, but at the same time realistically vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation. Sex is suggested or happens off page. With short, action-filled chapters, this is a good choice for reluctant readers. It reads much like popular adult thrillers and will certainly find its way into the hands of guys, but also holds appeal for any suspense-novel fan. Unresolved mysteries and an open-ended conclusion make this a promising start to an exciting new series.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316199681
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Series: Boy Nobody Series
  • Pages: 337
  • Sales rank: 57,446
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen Zadoff is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have, winner of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and a YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training. His training as a super spy, however, has yet to be verified.

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Read an Excerpt

Boy Nobody


By Allen Zadoff

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2013 Allen Zadoff
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-19968-1



CHAPTER 1

I PICK UP A BASEBALL BAT.


It's a thirty-two-ounce Rawlings composite. I feel the weight in my hands. The balance is slightly off from a dent on the tip.

I grasp the bat on either end and stretch out in the parking lot after the game. Natick vs. Wellesley. My Natick teammates are all around me, high school jocks doing what they do after a win. Celebrating. Big-time.

I celebrate, just like them.

This is what I think to myself:

I am one of you. I am young. I am a winner.

I smile and stretch.

After a moment, I shift my weight onto my back leg and I swing hard. Jack Wu comes up behind me at the same time. The bat misses his head by an inch.

A big man in a black suit tenses nearby. Tenses but doesn't interfere.

This is Jack's bodyguard and driver, a shadow behind Jack whenever he goes out. Jack's dad is rich. Rich and nervous.

Jack hates the bodyguard. He's told me a dozen times. Jack and I are friends, so he tells me these things.

"Watch it with the bat, dude," Jack says, and he punches me on the shoulder. A playful punch.

The Suit steps forward, and Jack spins around, anticipating him.

"Down, Rover," he says, like he's talking to a pit bull.

The Suit grins like he's in on the joke, but I wonder if he wouldn't slap the hell out of Jack if he had the chance. Instead he leans back against the sleek black Mercedes and waits.

"You killed it out there," Jack says. He head-gestures toward the field.

"I do my best," I say.

"Your best kicks ass and takes names," Jack says, and he punches my shoulder again.

This time the big man doesn't move. But the other players are looking at us.

Two punches on the arm. A way of asserting dominance.

Dominance is a threat. It must be dealt with.

I run a checklist in my mind:

I can let him punch me. Choose a lower status.

I can retaliate in equal measure, with equal force.

I can escalate. Assert my dominance.

Which should I choose?

Jack is supposed to be my friend. A teenage friend would punch a buddy the way he punched me. When in doubt, emulate. That's what I've been taught.

So it's option two.

I give Jack a light punch on the shoulder.

"Ow!" he cries in mock pain. "Take it easy on me."

This entire transaction takes no more than two seconds:

I swing the bat.

Jack punches. I punch back.

We both laugh as the Suit looks on.

This is what you'd see if you were watching us now. Two jocks, buddies, teasing each other.

"You want to come back to the bank vault?" Jack says.

The bank vault. That's what Jack calls his house.

"For a little bit," I say.

Jack steps toward the car. The Suit reacts quickly, opening the back door for him.

"My friend is coming with," Jack says to him.

"Yes, sir," he says, and he gestures for me to get into the car.


THE LEATHER IS SOFT IN THE MERCEDES.

It's the kind of leather seat that pulls you in, begs you to relax against it. A seat that says, You are being taken care of. You are being driven where you need to go.

I imagine having a father who can afford things like this. Expensive cars. Expensive bodyguards. Not just afford them, but a father who wants his son to have them. Wants him to be taken care of.

But this is not something I should be thinking about now. Not when there's work to do.

I glance at Jack. He's leaning back with his eyes closed.

"I was thinking," he says.

"That's unusual for you," I say.

"Asshole," he says.

He smiles, his eyes still closed.

"I was thinking about you and me."

"Stop right there," I say. "You're making me nervous."

"Can I be serious for a minute?" Jack says.

"You want to get all heavy for sixty seconds, I'm not going to stop you."

"I was thinking that you're a real friend."

"You've got tons of friends," I say.

"Not guys I invite over to the house. Not guys I trust."

"You trust me?"

"For real," Jack says.

The Suit in the front seat coughs. A warning to Jack? A reminder that he's still here? Or nothing at all. A tickle in the throat.

"If you trust me, can I borrow a hundred bucks?" I say.

"I don't trust you that much," Jack says.

He laughs.

He punches my arm.

I let him do it.


THE SUIT TYPES A CODE INTO THE SECURITY GATE.

The large metal gate slides open to reveal a long driveway, a guard hut set twenty feet in.

We pull up to the hut and the Suit nods to a guard. He lifts two fingers. Two people coming in, Jack and me. The guard marks it down on a clipboard. He's seen me before, and it's not a big deal.

We continue around a hairpin turn, and the house comes into view. Big but not lavish. The Suit stops to let us out.

Jack types a code to gain access to the house.

The front door beeps to announce our entry. Front door open, it says.

It beeps again when the door is closed. Front door closed, the electronic voice says.

Jack's dad wanders by with a beer in his hand. Chen Wu is his name. His friends call him John. He's the CEO of a high-tech firm along Route 128. Lots of government contracts.

Does he need all this security?

I know he likes it. It makes you feel important to have a lot of people with guns around you. It makes you feel safe, and more importantly for him, it makes his wife feel safe. That keeps her from giving him a hard time.

It's not just Mr. Wu. All the CEOs are edgy right now. There was some violence a year ago. An important kid got shot during an attempted kidnapping while on spring break in Mexico. The Fortune 500 went security crazy. Now rich kids like Jack need a commando team to take a dump.

"Nice to see you, boys," Jack's dad says.

"What's up, Dad?" Jack says. "Gotta take a squirt. Pardon my French."

He turns to leave.

"Hey, I can't stay too long," I say.

"You gotta go?" Jack says, disappointed.

"Gotta call my mom," I say. "I guess it's morning wherever she is."

"Crap in a bag," Jack says.

He shoots up the stairs.

"You have time for a cold one?" Jack's dad says.

"Beer or soda?"

"How old are you?" he says.

"Sixteen."

"Soda for you. But it was a nice try."

I shrug like I'm bummed out, and I follow him through the den.

"How was the game?" Jack's dad says.

"Amazing," I say. "You should come sometime."

"High school ball is not really my thing," he says.

But it's his son's thing, so what does it matter?

I see this a lot with the Fortune 500. Mr. Wu is always working. Except Friday nights. His only downtime, and he doesn't want to spend it with his family. He relaxes for the evening, then works again all weekend.

So be it. It's Friday night and he's here. So am I.

That's the important thing.

We head into the kitchen, and the conversation drifts to the Red Sox. We're near Boston, so we have to talk Sox.

I notice an expensive knife block on the counter with one of the knives missing from its slot. A wide slot. This is a knife big enough to be used as a weapon.

I scan the room.

The sink.

The knife is sitting on a cutting board next to the sink, ten feet away from us. A safe distance away.

I relax and exhale. I sit at the table, and I reach into my backpack and take out a ballpoint pen.

Jack's dad looks at me from the refrigerator, a question on his face.

"You taking notes?"

"When you talk baseball, I listen," I say.

Jack's dad smiles. I smile.

When in doubt, emulate.

I turn the cap until it clicks, exposing the point.

Jack's dad reaches forward to hand me the cold soda.

I push the end of the pen into the meat of his forearm. The action depresses a miniature plunger.

His eyes widen as the drug hits him. His mouth puckers, forming the familiar Wh—.

Maybe it's why he's trying to say.

Maybe it's what, as in What are you doing?

But the drug is fast-acting. Its actual speed depends on age and conditioning, which is bad news for Jack's dad.

He's out of shape.

So it is fast. Faster even than a word can form.

Jack's dad stumbles, and I catch him, place him on the floor by the kitchen table. I don't let him fall, because I don't want Jack running downstairs to see what caused the noise. I don't want anyone else rushing in. Not yet.

I need fifteen seconds.

Six seconds to lay him down, arranging the body, limbs splayed as if from a fall. I use an elbow to knock over the can of beer next to him. The foam hisses.

Five seconds to put away my pen and notebook, zip the backpack where it hangs from the back of a chair.

Four more seconds to play out the chain, let the chemical reaction in Mr. Wu's body take him beyond the point of resuscitation.

Fifteen seconds.

Done.

I look at the body. The man who was Chen Wu is gone.

A husband is gone.

A father is gone.

"I trust you," Jack said.

That was your mistake, I think.

Twenty seconds have passed. The outside edge of my operational window.

"Oh my god!" I say. "Help!"

I fling open the front door. "Someone!" I shout.

Jack comes running down the stairs, and his face turns white with shock. A sound comes out of him, something between a moan and a scream.

The security people rush in. One look at the body and the first guy knows.

It's all a show after that.

I stand to the side and watch it happen.

Resuscitation attempts, the ambulance, all of it.

I push forward like I want to be in the middle of the action, be near my friend Jack. The Suit from the baseball game stops me.

He puts an arm on my shoulder, gently, like he's my father or something. I want to shrug it off, but I don't.

"Maybe it would be better if you stepped away," he says.

"What about Jack—?"

"It's a family matter," he says.

I relax my shoulders beneath his arm.

"I need my backpack," I say.

He steps into the fray, grabs my backpack, hands it to me, and guides me out the door.

I glance back. My last image is of Jack on the sofa, his back hunched, his head almost to his knees.

A profile of grief.

All because of me.


I WALK PAST THE REVOLVING LIGHTS OF THE AMBULANCE.

Past the security vehicles, the police officers, the chatter of voices over shortwave radios.

"Do you need a ride?" the gate guard says.

"I'm good," I say.

"Tough day," he says.

"Terrible," I say.

"It happened on my watch," he says, shaking his head. "But they can't blame me, right? I'm not God. I don't get to decide when and where."

Not true. You don't have to be God to decide when and where. You only have to take action and be willing to deal with the consequences.

"Take care of yourself," he says.

"I always do," I say.

He opens the gate for me, and I'm out.

I walk down the street slowly, like someone who is traumatized. But I'm not traumatized. I'm already thinking about what comes next. I'm reviewing my exit strategy.

And maybe, just for a moment, I'm thinking about Jack.

He was my best friend for four weeks.

But not anymore.

He might not like it much that I killed his father. Not that he'll know. The drug leaves no trace. Jack's dad had a heart attack. That's what the autopsy will show, if there is an autopsy. Strings will be pulled. Or the modern equivalent—computer keys pressed.

If an autopsy is done, it will show nothing at all.

Natural causes.

That's my specialty. People die around me, but it never seems like my fault. It seems like bad luck following good.

Good luck: You meet a great new friend at school.

Bad luck: A tragedy befalls your family.

The two don't ever seem connected, but they are.

Jack didn't know that when we became best friends a month ago. I slipped into his life easily, and now I'm slipping out just as easily.

I've broken another guy's heart, changed the course of his life. Lucky for me, I can do it and not feel it.

I don't feel anything.

Not true.

I feel cold, I feel hungry, I feel the fabric of a new shirt rubbing against my skin, and I feel gravel beneath my feet.

But those are sensations, not feelings.

I had feelings once, too. I think I did. But that was a long time ago.

That was before.


HIS NAME WAS MIKE.

And he was my best friend.

Or so I thought.

He was the new guy in school, but he didn't seem new. The minute he started, it seemed like he'd been there forever.

"What are you into?" he said the first time I talked to him.

"I like to read," I said.

I was twelve then, and I had so many books that my dad had to build a second bookcase in my room.

"You read that vampire stuff?" he said.

"No. Action, adventure. Sci-fi if it's good."

"Cool," he said. "Me, too."

It didn't feel strange when we became instant friends, like when you feel separated at birth. A brother from another mother. That's what they call it.

Within a week, we were inseparable. Within two, he was sleeping over at the house.

We stayed up late, defying my parents, talking about everything under the sun. We exchanged books. We talked about girls.

It was during that year that I noticed girls were wearing bras, and you could see through their shirts if the light was right. Mike taught me you should always let the girl get between you and the window on a sunny day because it improved your viewing options. I thought he was a genius.

Mike and me. Two twelve-year-old kids, laughing and shooting the crap, thrilled to have found a partner in crime in each other.

In hindsight, I should have found it strange that I never saw his house, never met his parents. He said his dad was a corporate lawyer who traveled for business. My dad was a professor and scientist who sometimes went to conferences, so I knew what he meant. Kind of.

His mom got overwhelmed, he said. She didn't like kids around.

My mom got overwhelmed, too. Not with guests, but with my dad. At the time, they'd been fighting for what seemed like months. I didn't know what it was about, but it was one of those fights that was going on even when it wasn't, even when everything was quiet.

It went on for so long it felt like our family was having a nervous breakdown.

I told all this to Mike.

He was my friend. It felt good to tell him, to confide in him.

I didn't know he was going to kill my parents.


THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES WHEN I FINISH.

Memories come. I don't know why.

They go away eventually if I keep moving.

I'm a mile from Jack's now, walking down the street, moving toward my egress point. If all has gone as planned, I should be clear and on my way out of town.

Should be.

I'm not.

I sense it a moment before it happens. Something in the air shifts. Everyone has intuition, but not everyone knows how to listen to it. I've been trained to listen, to perceive small changes in the environment around me, to predict outcomes before they happen.

And I've been trained to react.

My intuition tells me something is about to happen.

And then it does.

A dark gray sedan comes around the corner. The car jerks slightly when the driver sees me. It happens in a split second, like when someone spots a pothole at the last moment and pulls the wheel to avoid it.

But there's no pothole. Only me.

It's a natural human reaction. When you spot what you're looking for, your body reacts. In poker they call it a tell, a physical tic that reveals what's going on with the player.

This driver has a tell. That's good.

Because by the time the car pulls to a stop in the middle of the road, I've had a few seconds to prepare.

I rapid-scan the area:

Empty road behind. Stone and gravel surface beneath. A spattering of houses set way back from the road, their views obscured behind thickets of trees.

And the car in front of me, twenty yards away.

I continue for a few steps, and the license comes into view. It's not one of Jack's dad's cars. This car has diplomatic plates.

The doors open. Four Asian men in suits get out. They do it casually, as if the non sequitur of four men in suits stopped in the middle of a suburban street is no big deal.

Choices:

I could escape into the woods. See how good they are on foot and separated.

Some would say that's the best strategy in this situation, divide power and take it on little by little.

Some say that. I don't.

There's another trick that I learned from the people who trained me. Don't diffuse power; concentrate it. Get it too close together, where its effectiveness is reduced.

That's the trick I will use.

The problem: I never carry a gun, and my weaponized ballpoint pen and other tools were dropped down a sewer. I left my empty backpack in a Dumpster a ways down the road.

So I've got nothing to rely on but my training.

It should be enough.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff. Copyright © 2013 Allen Zadoff. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Very Good!

    If you were a fan of the Jason Bourne novels or movies chances are you'll enjoy this book. It was fast paced and had its gritty moments. The way the author writes really helped keep the momentum and his chapters are short so everytime I finished one chapter I was like oh I'll just read one more-- ha yeah right... I finished the book in 2 days. It was very good I completely recommend it!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Absolutely LOVE this book!!!!!

    I can't wait for the series! So excited. I really hope they make this book into a movie; YES, It's that good! :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The writing is short and concise. I felt as though I was seeing

    The writing is short and concise. I felt as though I was seeing the world through Boy Nobody's thoughts rather than how he experiences it. In a way, this reflects who he is. He's a soldier on a mission. Every time he moves on to the next target, he adopts a new identity, one that allows him to get closer to the mark (who will bring him close to the target). There isn't "somebody" within him to experience the world. At the same time, the narrative style doesn't allow for much detail to be incorporated into the story, and there is a feeling of distance between (1) the reader and Boy Nobody and (2) Boy Nobody and the rest of the world.
    Because of the narrative distance, it's hard to relate to Boy Nobody on an emotional level. He notes facts, but he keeps a tight rein on his emotions with almost superhuman control. Even when he lets some opportunities to complete his mission go, he finds excuses for himself resolves to figure out why he can't do what he was sent there to do. The way he acts, it's like he's almost like some form of artificial intelligence. Only, he really is human, and he's finally remembering what it's like to be one.
    Here, the plot becomes one we've seen many times. The girl and her father open the boy's eyes to what it means to be human, and he begins to question his life and what he wants to do with it. Sam wasn't quite what I expected. She's beautiful to what seems like model perfection, but she's also kind of a badass, and she's able to confuzzle Boy Nobody, which nobody has done yet. Inside, however, she's fragile when it comes to love, and she's an emotional wreck from her mother's death, her mysterious relationship with her ex, and her father's job. The way she opens up so fast to Boy Nobody is freaky and unexpected. I wish that the story didn't move so fast, but at the same time I understand that it's necessary because of the time limit on Boy Nobody's mission.
    What I love the most is the mission side of the story. The way Boy Nobody communicates with his supervisors is interesting and reminds me a little of spy novels--how they have all this crazy gadgetry. Boy Nobody's "gadgets" are more toned down and inconspicuous though, consistent with how his entire life is kept low profile. I also really like the action scenes, especially the ones at the end where he learns the truth about why he was sent to mark Sam.
    Not much is revealed about The Program that Boy Nobody works for, which is understandable given Boy Nobody's lack of knowledge about it. During his mission, however, he comes across some startling, though expected, facts that make him further question who he is and what he's doing. It looks like we'll be learning more about The Program and Boy Nobody's role in it with the publication of book two, and I'm curious enough to want to read it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Wonderful

    This book is absolutly amazing. It really relates to being a teen. It is also amazing how you follow every moment of his journey and get some background of how he got into the program. I would reccomend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    This was a great read. If the premise of a boy assassin who kill

    This was a great read. If the premise of a boy assassin who kills his friends parents appeals to you, then this is probably the book for you.  I found the writing style delightful.  I found the plot to be interesting and I was pleased that I did not predict the ending of the book. 

    Looking forward to the series...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I totally judged Boy Nobody by author Allen Zadoff by its cover.

    I totally judged Boy Nobody by author Allen Zadoff by its cover. I mean, come on! Can you honestly blame me? It’s super awesome and compelled me to read the synopsis that promised me espionage, action and romance. Boy Nobody lived up to my expectations of the novel. It was such a fun read and is the type that you don’t want to put down for a moment.

    Boy Nobody is the story of main character Ben (and while technically his name isn’t Ben, it is the name that Boy Nobody uses and so I’m going to use Ben to avoid confusion) a teenage boy who is controlled by the Program to carry out their assignments. Ben barely remembers when he first entered the Program, but he does remember bits and pieces from before he became an assassin. Ben receives a call from Mother and Father (the two individuals who give Ben his assignments for the Program) and learns about his greatest assignment yet: Kill the Target in five days. Who is the Target? The Mayor of New York. How is he gonna get to the Target? Through the Mayor’s daughter, Sam.

    With only five days to complete his assignment, Ben finds himself attending a prestigious New York private school in hopes of getting close to Sam. In just five days Ben finds himself growing closer and closer to Sam who he begins to have feelings for. As Ben and Sam fall closer together Ben also finds himself closer and closer to the Target. But something is wrong. Sam makes him remember things he shouldn’t and the Mayor reminds him of the life he left behind when the Program took him. Just as Ben begins to accept these things everything changes with a call from Mother and… dun, dun, dun!

    What I noticed instantly about Boy Nobody was that Ben would be a memorable character. I’ve read a lot of books with a main character that is involved in assassinations and espionage but Ben was different. Unlike the majority of those characters, Ben felt realistic. He seemed human and he had human wants and desires. I really liked that. Also, Ben is a total badass. Throughout the story he shows off how big of a skilled martial artist he by going full on Batman on antagonists in the novel.

    Ben’s assignment in Boy Nobody involves him trying to make Sam fall in love with him over the course of five days. While that does sound highly unrealistic and any good girl would think-twice about going into a relationship with a boy who just randomly shows up and doing so within a five day period. Sam is way smarter than that and actually gives Ben a run for his money on multiple occasions. When the two characters first met, I was instantly fangirling over the two of them and as the novel progressed I began to heart the two of them together. By the time the novel ended my head was left reeling from a plot twist I did not see coming.

    Boy Nobody is a novel that is written for readers to get lost in a good story. I honestly could not stop reading and finished the novel feeling completely overwhelmed by how badly I didn’t want the story to end. Readers who are fans of badass MCs who are attractive and deep will fall hard for this read. Boy Nobody is Nikita meets Arrow.

    I’d recommend Boy Nobody to readers who are looking for a good read, readers who love action and readers who are looking for a thrilling read with an unexpected plot twist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    epic.. couldnt put it down

    epic.. couldnt put it down

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This book was such a surprise for me. I've read some pretty mixe

    This book was such a surprise for me. I've read some pretty mixed reviews of it and was hesitant to start it, but I'm so glad I did. It was freaking amazing. 

    The book starts right of the bat with a teenage boy killing a high profile man. He enters a school under a new identity and his mission is to make friends with the targets kid and get access to that persons home. When he does he is to inject the target with his pen, which holds a toxin that makes it look like the target has a heart attack. He then proceeds to leave without a trace. He is very good at what he does, that is until his next assignment threatens everything he believes. Will he succeed or will The Program terminate him?

    I loved Boy Nobody!! His current mission tests him in every way. His feelings are all over the place and he debates with himself if he should dig deeper into The Program and see exactly what they are. I loved how he approached every mission and how we got an insight into what his thoughts and feelings were. He was just all round full of awesomesauce ;) 

    I also loved the idea of the book, a boy spy assassinating traitors!! Whats not to love about it! I loved how he had to ingrain himself into the persons life, without suspicion as well. In short, I loved everything about this!!

    Overall The Hit was an action packed and gripping read. From the very first page you are drawn into the story and made to love Boy Nobody. Its an additive read and one I devoured. I cant wait to read more about Boy Nobody and will have to run out and buy book 2 now!! Highly recommend :) 

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  • Posted August 19, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and NetGalley.)

    This book started out well, but after about 20% it just got worse and worse.

    Boy nobody started out as quite an interesting spy-type character and he actually seemed pretty competent at his job, but unfortunately that all changed. After a point he totally came off his game, was unable to do as he was tasked, and basically turned in to a right wimp!

    The storyline again started out well, but at the 20% mark it went rapidly downhill and I really lost interest. I didn’t get why Boy Nobody was suddenly off his game, why he couldn’t do what he was supposed to be doing, and why the story was going the way it was!
    The romance in this was a little dodgy, and again, Boy Nobody really needed to get his head back in the game!

    The ending to this wasn’t too bad, but I had really lost interest by that point.
    5 out of 10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Amazing

    One of the best teen spy books I have ever read. I recommend it if you like James Bond, except more serious

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  • Posted May 6, 2014

    Turning a kid into an assassin is wrong on so many levels, but t

    Turning a kid into an assassin is wrong on so many levels, but the way Boy Nobody's story is written is quite fascinating. We're taken into his past and present and what got him to this point in his life; we see through his eyes and mind what his training has done to his psyche; we walk through the steps he takes and the thoughts he processes. All of this I found very engaging. There are great twists and turns throughout the novel. I felt like I was uncovering multiple mysteries, not just who Boy Nobody is, but who these people around him are, what The Program is, and what the deal is with his current assignment.



    There was action from start to finish and never did I feel bored. The way the plot was directed and driven was quite fascinating and kept my attention throughout, even when I was questioning why the author made certain plot choices. Then, as those choices were made more clear, I nodded my head in understanding and acceptance. The ending has certain twists that I didn't see coming, and no matter the outcome, I really appreciated the unexpected direction. By the end, along with Boy Nobody, I have more understanding and more questions and I look forward to where his story is going to go in the next book. All in all, a great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Taylor,Jenna and Billy

    The book is aswome. You should read the book

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Call him what you'd like, he answers to any name, you won't need

    Call him what you'd like, he answers to any name, you won't need to remember it because he'll be gone soon after he's arrived.
    If he's new in your school expect death to follow; he's an adept assassin who infiltrates, assimilates, and deftly completes his assignment...until now. Given his target, Boy befriends the man's daughter, a stand-offish and careful girl who wants no part of Boy's attention. Boy has a job to do and works his charms to gain access to his target, only to be told the target has changed and Boy begins to doubt his ability to finish the job.
    A chilling reminder from his "mother" and "father" puts Boy back in the game but can he finish the job he was sent to do?
    You won't be able to put this book down, and I'm now hanging until the 2nd installment arrives next year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    I haven't read but it seems awfully similar to Nobody by Jennife

    I haven't read but it seems awfully similar to Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Awsome

    Probably the best assassin book I've read in a long time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    A fantastic action thriller about a teen assassin. I couldn't st

    A fantastic action thriller about a teen assassin. I couldn't stop reading it. Amazing.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    Very Good

    I really enjoyed this book, I can't wait to read the second one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Applebees basil soup with 4grilled cheese sandwich YUM

    CHEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSE!

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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