At school, John is pretty normal. He has a few friends, a girl he'd love to ask out (but doesn't think he will), struggles with algebra and plays badly in band. What no one knows is that to him, none of this is real. What is real is going home to face the man who is not his father, hoping today is a good day and no one will get beat up. What is real is wondering why his mother doesn't seem to see any of it. What is real is knowing that, really, no one knows anything about him.
I'm not sure what I think of this book. On the one hand John is a witty and likable narrator, the characters felt realistic and the pacing is not bad. But I felt no connection to the story. I really just didn't care about any of the characters or what was going to happen. I repeatedly put the book down for days (unusual for me) and had to force myself to get back to it. Perhaps this is due to John's own feelings of isolation, but it made for a difficult read.
Tompkins County Public Library