November 30, 2009

I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

BOOK #: 81
REASON READ: 21 Cultures Challenge
GENRE: Fiction, Crime, Ethics, Suspence/Thriller
FORMAT/PAGES: Paperback/208
RATING: 4 Stars

“Stop all this talk about monsters, Michele. Monsters don’t exist. It’s men you should be afraid of, not monsters.”

A sweltering heat wave hits a tiny village in Southern Italy, sending the adults to seek shelter, while their children bicycle freely throughout the countryside, playing games and getting into trouble. On a dare, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano enters an old, abandoned farmhouse, where he stumbles upon a secret so terrible that he can’t tell anybody. As the truth emerges, Michele learns that the horror in the creepy old house is closer to home than he ever imagined. A widely acclaimed international bestseller, I’m Not Scared is a spine-tingling novel that combines a coming of age narrative with a satisfying, enthralling story of suspense.

On Not Giving Away the Story: It is difficult to review this book without giving away the story, the "terrible secret" that Michele discovers. I will do my best to explain how I liked it without revealing anything.

On Choices: Michele is only a 9-year-old boy yet he is faced with a series of ethical choices, each one more important than the last. It is heart-wrenching to read, but I still rooted for Michele to make the right choices.

On Monsters: The above statement about monsters is told to Michele by his father. I think it is a very powerful truth and one that Michele ultimately comes up against in the book.

On the Ending: The book ends pretty dramatically and the reader is left to use their own imagination to create the ending. It was disarming at first, but it was such a well-written story that it worked for me. I was left thinking of it for days, and that is a trademark of a good book, is it not?

On Recommending: I do recommend this book. It was a suspenseful and haunting story that truly captivated me.

Other Reviews/Opinions of I'm Not Scared:

Ready When You Are, C.B.

If you have read and reviewed this book, please leave a comment and I will add your review to this post!


  1. Oh gosh, I like cut and dried endings, because I *never* can figure out what happens!

  2. It sounds a little too scary for me! Great review though without giving away too much.

  3. I've been eyeing this one for a while. Looks like I need to pick it up!


  4. I like suspense, but I'm not so sure I like haunting. The book does sound engrossing, though.

  5. I have not read haunting books.. but this sounds good too :)

  6. I love suspense and Italy, so I'm adding this to my wish list. The ending thing does worry me a bit. If there is too much left to interpretation it sometimes feels lazy.


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