I really REALLY wanted to give this a better review! The writing is excellent, there has been so much buzz about it, it won the National Book Award, there are many reasons why I should have liked it, but I can't lie. I wasn't feeling it. The book follows three characters: Jojo, a thirteen year old boy who is mature beyond his years and just wants to be like his grandfather and make sure his younger sister gets taken care, his mother Leonie, a never present parent who spends more time pining after her incarcerated boyfriend and doing drugs, and finally there is Richie, another thirteen year old boy with an unsettling past. Leonie takes her two children on a road trip to see their father released from prison and while there, Jojo encounters Richie, a boy whose story HE KNOWS. Jojo is by far the greatest character in this sad family saga, he is strong, wise, questioning, and more of a parent to his younger sister than his mother, Leonie could ever hope to be. I briefly sympathized with his mom, but it's hard when she constantly chooses herself and her boyfriend over her own children. She is the literal worst. I'm with Jojo, she could die and the world would be a better place. Same goes for his deadbeat dad. The story only spans a few days, but it feels like a lifetime. And, Richie... Richie helps add another layer to the story, it helps deepens the saga. Even though he's not quite a family member, he has something to add. The story was artfully done, but it didn't resonate with me.