July 8, 2013

Review of Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff


Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target. 

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.

add to goodreadsBoy Nobody (Boy Nobody #1) by Allen Zadoff
Publication Date:  June 11, 2013
Publisher:  Little, Brown & CO BYR

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewI totally judged Boy Nobody by author Allen Zadoff by its cover. I mean, come on! Can you honestly blame me? It’s super awesome and compelled me to read the synopsis that promised me espionage, action and romance. Boy Nobody lived up to my expectations of the novel. It was such a fun read and is the type that you don’t want to put down for a moment.

Boy Nobody is the story of main character Ben (and while technically his name isn’t Ben, it is the name that Boy Nobody uses and so I’m going to use Ben to avoid confusion) a teenage boy who is controlled by the Program to carry out their assignments. Ben barely remembers when he first entered the Program, but he does remember bits and pieces from before he became an assassin. Ben receives a call from Mother and Father (the two individuals who give Ben his assignments for the Program) and learns about his greatest assignment yet: Kill the Target in five days. Who is the Target? The Mayor of New York. How is he gonna get to the Target? Through the Mayor’s daughter, Sam.

With only five days to complete his assignment, Ben finds himself attending a prestigious New York private school in hopes of getting close to Sam. In just five days Ben finds himself growing closer and closer to Sam who he begins to have feelings for. As Ben and Sam fall closer together Ben also finds himself closer and closer to the Target. But something is wrong. Sam makes him remember things he shouldn’t and the Mayor reminds him of the life he left behind when the Program took him. Just as Ben begins to accept these things everything changes with a call from Mother and… dun, dun, dun!

What I noticed instantly about Boy Nobody was that Ben would be a memorable character. I’ve read a lot of books with a main character that is involved in assassinations and espionage but Ben was different. Unlike the majority of those characters, Ben felt realistic. He seemed human and he had human wants and desires. I really liked that. Also, Ben is a total badass. Throughout the story he shows off how big of a skilled martial artist he by going full on Batman on antagonists in the novel.

Ben’s assignment in Boy Nobody involves him trying to make Sam fall in love with him over the course of five days. While that does sound highly unrealistic and any good girl would think-twice about going into a relationship with a boy who just randomly shows up and doing so within a five day period. Sam is way smarter than that and actually gives Ben a run for his money on multiple occasions. When the two characters first met, I was instantly fangirling over the two of them and as the novel progressed I began to heart the two of them together. By the time the novel ended my head was left reeling from a plot twist I did not see coming.

Boy Nobody is a novel that is written for readers to get lost in a good story. I honestly could not stop reading and finished the novel feeling completely overwhelmed by how badly I didn’t want the story to end. Readers who are fans of badass MCs who are attractive and deep will fall hard for this read. Boy Nobody is Nikita meets Arrow.

I’d recommend Boy Nobody to readers who are looking for a good read, readers who love action and readers who are looking for a thrilling read with an unexpected plot twist.



Allen Zadoff is the author of the new thriller series, Boy Nobody. His YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and was a YALSA selection for Most Popular Paperbacks of 2012. His second novel was My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies, the story of a techie hiding from life after a family tragedy. His third novel Since You Left Me is set in Los Angeles and tells the story of a religious school student who doesn’t believe. He also wrote the memoir for adults,Hungry:Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin.

Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. Visit him on the web at

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



1 Comment

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    I love when a book allows you to get lost in the story. This sounds interesting and Ben sounds fleshed out. Great review; )

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