I was frustrated with the first half of this novel. I felt that it was going nowhere. Sal was pondering his life and his identity, only he was doing internally. If only he’d reached out, I’d felt better but Sal drifted, his voice silent while his mind filled with questions and unknowns. Sal had plenty of opportunities and he had a lot of individuals, of all ages, to help him, yet he kept quiet. Somehow as life starts to get complicated for himself and his friends, Sal’s questions don’t seem to be that important anymore, his mind seems to find the bigger picture.
The second half of the novel saved this novel for me as I was tired of Sal’s unending questions and his life’s pondering. Sal finally starts to show some heart, could it have been all the emotions and messages that his friends are sending out? Sal begins by recording his grandma’s voice as he knows her days are numbered, he then starts to open up a bit with his dad, just a few questions but I felt something happening in the relationships with all the characters. Sal seems relieved, he has finally opened up and after telling his friends this breakthrough, it’s as if they all are breathing lighter now. If only the beginning of the novel, they would have had some of this connection, I would have loved it.
This was not what I expected from this novel, it carried a terrific cover, a great synopsis but the beginning was a disappointment. I loved the secondary characters in the novel, and the ending made up the novel for me. I loved Benjamin Saenz other novels and I look forward to reading other novels by him. 3.5 stars