For the first Thoughtful Thursday, my book travels keep me in our contemporary world, though a much different version of it than I’d normal...

Thoughtful Thursdays: Book Review: You Don’t Know Me by David Klass

For the first Thoughtful Thursday, my book travels keep me in our contemporary world, though a much different version of it than I’d normally see. If not for my book club, I probably never would’ve visited. So, seriously, thanks to whoever suggested it.

Summary: John is sure that no one knows him. Not his mother, who spends her days working at a factory. Not his mother’s boyfriend, though they’ve all lived together for some time. Not Mr. Steenwilly, John’s Music teacher, however much the older man might pretend to. And certainly not “Mrs. Moonface,” who lives only to torture John and his classmates with meaningless algebraic equations.

The story follows John as he wrestles with the difficulties of being unknown  of feeling unloved  and as he strives to wade through the war zone that is his life. As he tries to impress his love, Glory Hallelujah, attempts to avoid his mother’s boyfriend, “the man who is not his father,” and endeavors to get his tuba that is not a tuba to play a sound somewhat resembling music.

You Don’t Know Me tells the story of a quirky, uncertain boy whose only desire is to be known.

Review: 5 stars out of 5. I’m gonna start this review by saying: I loved John. He was hysterical. This kid had the most fantastic voice I’d read since the Percy Jackson series or The Princess Diaries. While his style of speaking to the reader was very different from either of the above, it held the same ring of uniqueness I felt when reading those. Though, to be honest, John’s voice wasn’t quite like anything I’ve ever read before.

Also, his character development was phenomenal. Don’t wanna give any spoilers, but after seeing him at the beginning and who he’s willing to become at the end, I was in awe. The journey is downright beautiful, and so perfect for his character.

Another thing I liked was how Mr. Klass, the author, introduced the characters. I loved that you got a crystal-clear view of how John saw them; then slowly, Mr. Klass unfolded who they really were, some the same as John thought, some completely different. And all the characters, however they ended up, were amazing. I hated the villain (which is a good thing), and all the “good guys,” the ones who helped John, felt like real, true, awesome people.

To top it all off, Mr. Klass tied up the story perfectly with a climax that set my heart racing and an ending that left me amazed.

Seriously, I loved this book. And, though I would caution sensitive souls (there’s some cursing and quite a bit of abuse), I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

What’re some great books you’ve read lately? Especially ones with unique voices or dealing with tough issues?

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