Two totally different books, but each very unique and very enjoyable in its own way. First:
The Adventures of Jack Lime.
Jack is a high-school narcoleptic wise-guy detective dude. The story's written in first person and is very cool detective-y, evoking images of slowly spinning ceiling fans, striped shadows thrown through miniblinds, shady diners, and femme fatales. I loved the lines like,
The girl was nuttier than a pecan pie.
Sandra took my hand and looked deep in my eyes. "Be careful, Jack." We were having one of those moments between two people where the world stops and a classic love song kicks in, and you just melt into each other like two hot sticks of butter.
:) Even though it's modern, the main character seems straight out of a Hitchcock black-and-white flick. I think he might even call one of the female characters "doll." Not gripping, but an entertaining, clean, quick read. Recommended for teens to adults---any fans of mysteries.
And The Dreamer.
Neftali (picture an accent over the i) Reyes is a scrawny, distracted, painfully shy child who collects interesting rocks, shells, leaves, seedpods, pinecones, keys, words ... anything that touches his imagination and deepens his curiosity about the world around him. He dreams of becoming anything but the man his authoritarian father is trying to shape him into.
I won't tell you who the book is about, but he's a real-life figure whose work I admire very much. I hope you can read it without knowing his adult identity too, because that will make the revelation at the end all the more poignant. I unfortunately found out because of some blurb on Goodreads when I was only about a chapter away from when the book would've told me, and I was totally bummed.
I originally picked up this book because it looked really different, and I thought it'd be a bit of a stretch for me---maybe even a bit of a chore to work through. It wasn't a chore at all, however, and there was no "work" involved. Definitely recommended for adults and probably 14-and-up readers. There was zero questionable material---it just might not be action-packed enough to hold younger readers' attention.