Judging the Cover: The cover doesn’t really convey the story in my opinion but I do like the font and the prominence of the text.
The plot from Goodreads:
Will has never been to the outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will’s art projects. Soon the confines of his world close in on Will. Despite his mother’s protestations, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces Will to skateboarding. Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape, and fall. But life quickly gets complicated.
My Thoughts: I had very high hopes for this book. I found the idea of a boy who has no memories of being outside his home fascinating. Unfortunately, the writing style of this book got in the way of my enjoyment of the story. It was extremely difficult for me to get through and I found myself reading it out of duty rather than enjoyment.
The Good: I loved reading the perspective of Will’s mother, whose agoraphobia has hindered her ability to experience some of the greatest parts of life. It was interesting to see how she got to that state and I felt a connection to her as I have struggled with anxiety throughout my life that could easily become crippling if left unchecked. It was also fun to see the Outside through Will’s eyes as he experienced it for the first time.
The Not so Good: The main thing about this book that I disliked was the writing style. I felt that it slowed me down and I found myself reading sentences several times to grasp the meaning. Around 100 pages I adjusted to it and it went faster but I still disliked the way the story was written. This may not be a negative for everyone as some people like a more literary style of writing, but my preference is for a straightforward, simple writing style. It also went in a different direction about halfway through the story and I didn’t find myself connecting with that storyline.
My Rating: After some thought, I decided to give this book 2/5 stars.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.