Title: Marco Impossible.
Author: Hanna Moskowitz
Publisher: Roaring Book Press/Macmillan
Amazon Buy Link:Marco Impossible
Genre: middle grade (ages 10 and up)
Length: 256 pages
Rating: 4.75 out of 5
A guest review by Sirius.
Funny and poignant story about two thirteen year old best friends.
Best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band.
I loved “Gone, gone, gone” by this writer, so when I saw that her new novel contains another gay teenager I did not hesitate to purchase it. Unfortunately I did not get into the story on my first try and had to put it away for a month or so. This was absolutely not the book’s fault though – I just did not expect how very young her characters sounded – much younger than the characters even in “Gone, gone, gone”. And this was a good thing – because thirteen year old boys sound as I would think thirteen year olds (or close to that age) should sound. I just had to remind myself that I should be much more forgiving to those characters than I would be to the older teens or adults and after first twenty or thirty pages I could not put the book down.
Steven and Marco were best friends since they were kids and their favorite hobby in school was investigating and staging heists. As you can see from the blurb their newest project is to get to senior prom, because Marco gathered all his courage and wanted to confess his love for Benji on whom he was crushing for three years. The whole book takes place in three or four days, but it was so intense that I learned a lot about these two boys. I was so very impressed how the writer managed to give them some very real flaws and still make them so very likeable to me. Actually, I am probably in the minority on this one, because I have read the reviews on this one (another book I did not originally purchased with intention of reviewing) and a lot of reviewers seem not to like Marco. Some reviewers felt he was too controlling, whiney, self-absorbed. And my only response is “he is thirteen”. He is thirteen, he had horrible headaches since he was very young, he was brave enough to come out as gay when he was twelve, he was not having the best time ever since he did come out as gay from some annoying bullies in his school. I decided I will cut Marco’s some slack – obviously just my opinion.
And of course sometimes he was too demanding of his friend Steven and most of the time as an awesome “sidekick” (his word, not mine :)), he just took it. But Hanna Moskowitz mastered the art of “showing” what her characters are feeling rather than “telling” IMO. I had absolutely no doubt that Marco loved Steven as a friend and valued him when I finished the book – of course opinions may differ on that one. I also thought that while Steven was a very good kid overall, he was not without flaws either. I thought at times he was rather self absorbed too (as many thirteen year olds are:) – I mean, seriously, he needed a clue to understand why Marco was going to go to another high school after being his best friend for so long? I thought we saw the character growth in Steven too – he learned to stand up for himself even to his best friend.
I thought Marco’s crash on Benji was so cute and so very real, I was quite happy that the book ends as optimistically as it could for thirteen year olds, but readers can imagine many different scenarios happening to those kids as they will be growing up. They are only thirteen after all.