Thursday, March 7, 2013
ARC Review: Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz
Title: Marco Impossible
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: March 19th, 2013
I read this novel and my heart didn't break. Yes, it's true. I read a Hannah Moskowitz novel and did not emerge from it a sniveling ball of snot, tears running down my face because of my broken heart. I didn't think it was possible to read a Moskowitz novel and not be heart-broken on some level, but it is. Folks, Marco Impossible is the time that Hannah Moskowitz wrote a novel with a happy ending. And we all cried anyway.
Marco Impossible is my first Middle Grade novel from Hannah Moskowitz but, despite writing for a younger audience, Moskowitz manages to retain both her depth of feeling and complexity in this tale. Stephen and Marco are best friends, gearing up for high school in just a few months. Marco, however, is moving away to a private school and will never see the love of his life, Benji, ever again. Thus, Stephen and Marco are forced to make an elaborate plan to break into senior prom where Benji will be playing with his band, all so that Marco can confess his true feelings to Benji. Granted, there isn't a bomb involved in the plan like the cover may lead you to believe, but this book is just as spectacular without it.
From the very first page, it is clear that Marco Impossible is an incredibly fun ride. Marco and Stephen are wildly different characters, but together, they can take on the world. Stephen, who narrates our story, has a large family and has grown up in the shadow of Marco, who is loud, boisterous, and witty. Unlike Stephen, Marco is an only child, tentative about having siblings despite the fact that his parents are adopting a child overseas. It is obvious that although Marco relies on Stephen just as much as Stephen relies on Marco in this friendship, there are deep secrets between the two, whether it be Stephen who is still upset at having found that his father was cheating on his mother through the detective games that him and Marco played or Marco, who has dark secrets he won't part with.
Marco Impossible chronicles the plethora of difficulties Marco and Stephen face as they plan, and later execute, the adventure that will lead to Marco confessing his love for Benji, but it is also the tale of their friendship. Moskowitz brushes upon many subjects in this novel that are all serious and prevalent today, but best of all, she deals with them in an accessible and friendly manner, all while conveying the horror of the situation. In addition to that, though, the sibling relationships prevalent throughout the novel are masterfully written. With the number of siblings that Stephen has, it would have been easy to make at least a few of them similar, but instead, each of these secondary characters is well-rounded in their own right, all suffering through their own problems.
Yet, best of all, this is a story of friendship. It is the story of two friends who think they know each other, but not fully. Both Marco and Stephen are disastrously flawed characters, but it is impossible not to fall for them and their crazy adventure. Moreover, throughout the novel are short excerpts from the detective log that Marco and Stephen keep: hilarious momentums certain to delight the reader. All in all, Moskowitz really has written a funny, meaningful, and unforgettable story - once again. With authors like her around, finding excellent novels doesn't seem quite so impossible anymore.