Particularly harsh rating, but I could not be convinced by the narration, which not only takes place in the perpetual present (it might work for the short story but too much is compromised in a novel this size) but is also told through the voice of a spookily-articulate 12 year old. The result is both confusing and inauthentic.
Unfortunately, the plot did little to rescue the book for me. It was all so predictable. The anticipation building towards the climax, and the tidy conclusion that followed, was as perfectly choreographed as a Bollywood dance scene. I wasn’t challenged.
But two stars doesn’t mean I want my time back (i’d give it 2.5 if I could). I did, strangely enough, enjoy the dialogue between Charlie and his best mate Jeffrey, arguing constantly, about such inane things as who is the greater superpower between superman and spiderman, and cricket stats. Surprising thing to enjoy for someone who is interested in neither. This surely has to be construed as a compliment to the author.