I was told about this book by the fabulous Hardcore Hensel as one that was simply amazing and a must read. Boy was she ever right.
This is a book about a 19 year old boy/man, Ed Kennedy, who really has no life, no prospects of having a life and no desire to have anymore of a life. He is unmotivated, walks with his hands in his pockets with his shoulders slumped, is in love with his friend of years Audrey and plays cards with her and two of his other friends as a cover for his life. Then one day, while at the bank, he accidentally spoils a robbery and gets a card in the mail with three addresses. He realizes he is to do something to help the people at each of these locations, and so continues the story.
After reading Zusak's The Book Thief a few weeks ago and being completely entranced by the story and the writing style, accompanied by a recommendation from one who is well read, I really had high expectations for this book. I can't say I was disappointed. I didn't love it as much or deeply as The Book Thief, but I found that I was fighting my eyes to stay open last night, not wanting my experience with Ed Kennedy to continue more than I wanted sleep. The style of writing is truly captivating.
The reasons for me not liking this as much probably has more to do with wide-spread readability than anything else. This book has a decent amount of swearing in it (granted it is just the same three words in various locations) and some wanderings of a 19 year old boy and his hormonal hungerings, but for those students of mine who just don't care, can't be bothered or proudly proclaim they are the poster child for laziness, this could be the book to change their minds.
It is YA - probably 16 and up unless the reader is edgy or mature (funny how those two descriptions really wouldn't work together except as qualifying for certain readerability) but I really, really enjoyed this book. Really.