I have mixed feelings about Bob. On one hand, I enjoyed the ending of Bob and I loved the imagination of the story of Bob, its what’s in the middle of the story that had me confused.
The story begins with 11-year-old Livy, her mother and her baby sister visiting her grandmother overseas. Livy hasn’t visited her gran since she was 5 but they keep in touch with letters and phone calls as the family lives in Massachusetts. Nervous Livy stays with Gran as her mom shows off the baby to her childhood friends. As Livy visits the bedroom she stayed in during her last visit, she finds a zombie in a chicken suit, in the closet. He greets her like they’re old friends but Livy doesn’t remember anything about him. The zombie had waited for Livy, just like she asked, and now she was finally back.
I laughed as he listed off what he did in the closet over the years, and as he talked to Livy commenting on how things have changed. Livy felt bad leaving him stuffed in the closet all those years yet he just wanted to continue where they had left off. I immediately took a liking to this zombie, as I found his honesty and his attention to detail, amusing and I realized he had a big heart.
Told in alternate views, Livy and Bob tell the story of how Livy originally made the suit for Bob and how she was going to help him. I couldn’t figure out if Bob was imaginary or if he was real as I continued reading, for it seemed not everyone could actually see him. Bob loved food yet I wondered how he survived inside the closet for 5 years without it. Helping Bob becomes a mystery as they piece together what they each know and the clues they soon discover together. Bob becomes more adorable as he explores the world outside the closet.
The last twenty-five pages or so, were the best for me. The novel exploded as the elements of the story came together and my questions were finally being answered. After studying Bob and doing fieldwork with them, help was finally on the way.
This story reminded me of a legend or a folktale, as this story would be an excellent one to be passed down through the generations. I feel cheated out on some aspects of Bob and Livy and that’s why this is not a 5-star read for me. I think this novel is geared more towards younger readers and would make a great read aloud.