I’m not sure what to make of this book because it has pictures but it’s not in a traditional graphic novel format. It’s also in free verse which made it really easy and fast to read. It’s such an easy read that I read it in an hour. Ironically, because it was so easy to read, I don’t know how to feel about it. I thought the story was okay, not extraordinary, but good nonetheless. The story is a bit predictable but there’s nothing about it that really bugged me or surprised me. It’s obvious the protagonist is troubled and has his own demons to sort out, and that chess will somehow play an important role in his life, however, it never felt like PSA announcement for trouble youth.
One thing that I really liked was the art style Other than not knowing where to place this book, the art style were really well done. There are some pages where the painting is from the protagonist’s point of view, it’s a subtle way to make you part of the story as the character without it ever feeling intrusive.
What really made me want to read this book was the author when he came to my school a couple of weeks ago and talked with us. I enjoyed his presentation and he said a couple of things that really resonated with me and inspired me. He told us a story about a troubled kid that read this book and turned his life around and recently graduated high school and had plans for college. That coupled with his “say yes to the world” motto, I knew I had to give his books a chance.
Although, I didn’t love this one, I still think you should give it a try. I’m still looking forward to reading more of his novels.