This is how I choose a book: Look at the title on the spine. Unless both the title and spine are bad I pick it up. I look at the cover and at the blurb. If they look good I open the first page and read a bit, and if that doesn't convince me, open it at random and read a little. This sometimes differs in that I pick a book solely on title or cover, or don't pick it for the same reasons. I am rarely disappointed though.
This book had neither a very interesting title nor cover (though they were both somewhat intriguing). The first sentence was absolutely wonderful though (and there was a quote on the back that said as much, pretty much the only words besides the title on the cover).
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.
The concept of the New World was incredible, but perfectly believable. In fact everything about it was perfectly believable, even though it rings of fantasy.
The characters were what really drove it, but the plot was great too. I loved how the reader found out along with Todd that what he had believed about himself and his town and his parents was totally incorrect. I loved how people he thought were kind and nice were still capable of bad things, and people he thought were one way had many facets.
It really was a story of growing up, but the things he did and saw along the way made it unique. I would certainly recommend it.
One last thing; I liked how it was written in a different style, sort of slangy, lots of dialect. It was still understandable and rather than detracting from the story, it added to it. That is all.
I give it:
Which means...four starsAmazon listing here.