Book Review: Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean

Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean, Paperback | Barnes & NobleĀ®

Title: Nix Minus One

Author: Jill MacLean

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Books in Verse

Number of Pages: 296

Rating: B-

Recommended?: Yes

***Warning: This book review contains spoilers***

The protagonist of Nix Minus One, Nixon Humbolt, is a good-hearted former fat kid who’s better at woodworking in his dad’s workshop than making friends and scoring chicks. He’s trying to rescue his neighbor’s dog from a neglectful environment and he worries about his older sister Roxy, who’s dating an asshole. When a tragic accident occurs and he loses his sister, Nixon and his parents have to pick up the pieces and try to move on with their lives.

Nixon is a likable character and the book is entertaining and well-paced, but it lacked emotional resonance for me. Maybe it was because I never warmed up to Roxy’s character and maybe because Nixon seemed to find some sense of closure and a girlfriend way too fast. It felt like Roxy was barely cold in the ground and the author tried to force healing in a really premature way. I also didn’t feel invested in Nixon’s relationship with Blue, the offbeat girl he starts seeing.

I didn’t get to know her very well except that she was really into ornithology, and I felt like Nixon went on about how she was great rather than me feeling it for myself. This book mostly works because the main character is so endearing, but the storyline could have been much better. The verse format made it a quick read and it was a little more substantial than other books in the genre. The author also has potential but it’s not a book I ‘loved’ by any stretch of the imagination.


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