I thought this was a cute book. Quiet, interesting, and a good coming of age story. Nothing really new here, though. And it wasn’t funny like Zadoff's first novel, which was a bit disappointing. I think I had really high expectations regarding the humor, though, so I felt the lack of it much more than if I’d read this book first. Newcomers to Zadoff’s work may not feel the same way.
I got frustrated with Adam for letting everyone walk all over him, even though it was clear why he was withdrawing into himself. I think that, since this is a concept often used, and the way it’s used here isn’t really unique, I lost patience with it a little too soon. That’s not to say Adam isn’t an interesting character. He is. The reasoning in his head as he tries to figure out Derek was fantastic. I think that's exactly how a teenager thinks, and his reactions to the complexities of high school are wonderfully realistic.
The ending was a little over-the-top-tear-jerker for my taste, and the bow wrapping everything up was a bit too perfect. The story was still solid and enjoyable, but it didn't have that polished feel, where everything is connected from beginning to end. Again, I think I had such high expectations from his previous book that I didn't enjoy this as much as I could have. But I can see teens galore loving this story, boys and girls alike.