Title: The Namesake
Author: Stephen Parlato
Teen Reviewer: Timothy Wood
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Namesake, by Stephen Parlato, is the story of a teenager, Evan Galloway, whose father has just committed suicide. Evan is an extremely gifted student and artist, and everyone expects the best of him. Wanting to be able to understand why his father ended his life, he tries to find the answers. But as he does this he is opposed by a number of different people who try to stop him from getting to the truth of his father's death, and he has his own social life, or lack thereof, to worry about as well. Will Evan solve the mystery of his father's murder and be able to heal from it, or will he never know the full story and have to live with that fact?
This book was an interesting read for me. At first I was suprised at the book's bluntness and did not think that it depicted a teenage boy's life very well. But then, about in the middle of the book, I realized that this is what life is like for someone his age. It can be difficult and confusing. Told from Evan's point of view and from his mind's eye, the book does a great job of thinking like a teenage boy would, though at times it seems a bit random. One thing I did not like about the writing was that on multiple occasions, when the book begins a new section, it starts off after something important happened, then jumps back to what actually happened. This was a bit frustrating, but I got somewhat used to it. Also, the book still seems a bit unrealistic in some ways, but very realistic in others. Despite these shortcomings and even though I did not enjoy the book as a whole, it had a lot of plot twists and fantastic character development, making the book very exciting and enjoyable in spots. Because I found some parts frustrating, I would not read it again, but I am sure a lot of people will enjoy it. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.