Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Summary (from Goodreads): Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.
Review: I loved Oskar's voice and story; he was such a precocious, quirky and charming boy (definitely too smart for a nine-year-old, though, and I wondered the whole time where he was on the autism spectrum). Watching him come out of his shell to interact with a random and fun assortment of strangers was really enjoyable. But the storyline involving Oskar's grandparents was too confusingly written; it took over half the book before I figured out who his grandfather even was. The writing style for the grandparents was distracting, and their story was just too bizarre.
Rating: 4 stars