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Crusher - Niall Leonard Once I heard about the book: Finally a YA crime novel! After finishing the book: Finally… I’ve finished! Crusher by husband of Fifty Shades of Grey’s E.L. James Niall Leonard was not bad per se; it just needed a lot of improvement. I did not necessarily hate it, but there were a number of factors that contributed to Crusher not making an impression on me. Crusher was just a pretty average book with not much excitement in the ‘thriller’ department. The only reason I kept reading was to know the killer of Finn’s fath… stepfather. Not for Finn our protagonist. Not for anything else. Just to discover the killer. And by the time the major ‘twists’ and ‘surprises’ did come in the last fifty pages, I was not interested and could not have cared less who it was.One factor that contributed to the way I felt about Crusher was that I just did not connect with Finn; he was far from the character I am, so there was nothing for me to associate with. There was nothing for me to sympathise with considering he is a school drop-out, past drug user and rebellious teenager, who has also experienced detention centres first hand. Such traits are not desirable, and although when we first meet Finn he has progressed beyond the rebellious teenager, there was not much of a change through the rest of the book as he goes on a quest to find his stepfather’s killer. Also Finn is dyslexic – if this was the trait that Finn possessed in order to make me sympathise for him, then it did not do what it was intended to achieve. Percy Jackson was so successful – and still is – with dyslexic children because it showed that they can be heroes as well. Although Finn somehow becomes a hero in his own right – he wasn’t someone that I cheered on though and I didn’t see him as a hero – he constantly referred to dyslexia as being his downfall for why he was illiterate and unqualified. Another undesirable trait: a lack of self-worth.Finn’s character was emotionless for much of the time; another reason for why I couldn’t connect with him. Maybe it was because of his upbringing, the separation of his parents, or his rebellious past. Maybe it was because he was an apathetic individual. Finn showed absolutely no devastation when he found his stepfather murdered, yet this whole book was really about Finn finding the killer. It more out of curiosity at who the killer was than revenge or satisfaction when he does find the killer. And for the whole book there was no Awww’s and Ahhhh’s and Yesssss’s from me. It was interesting that Finn called his stepfather ‘Dad’. I don’t call my stepfather dad nor am I particularly fond of him (still after so many years – I shouldn’t even say that, but it’s true). But this may be a reason for why he wanted to find the killer; because his stepfather was all he had since his mother left them both years ago. Then again, we go back to the shrug and lack of sorrow and panic when Finn found his stepfather dead. I’m leaving this point there.The cast of characters were lacklustre and the plot was all bone with little flesh. Even then, the bone that there was fell flat, continuing to thin out due to the lack of thrill this book promised. Although there was a scene that was made to get your heart galloping, it did not, and the whole book stayed at the same level throughout. The last fifty or so pages had the most turn of events, however I was not as pulled in by them as I was meant to be. I hate to say this, but I’m sure you won’t take much away from this book. Unless you want to discover the killer then go ahead; I’m not stopping you. You won’t be all that surprised.