This book ended up being a surprisingly fast read even with the heavier subject matter. The writing was light and easy to read and I enjoyed the back and forth between Mark’s POV and the half-chapters of Jessie’s POV.
Mark was a character who I could understand his motivations even though I disagreed with them and his methods. He had very good reasons for wanting to climb that mountain but he caused a lot of worry and panic for everyone. His emotions were all over the place through his journey but two things stayed firm the whole time: his determination to climb that mountain and his bond with his dog. Beau wasn’t able to speak but he was an important character. He was beside Mark the whole journey, protecting him, encouraging him, just being there for him. It was such a nice bond between them.
Things did end up being a little repetitive in some parts. Jessie’s POVs during the half-chapters was her struggling to keep Mark’s secret. Should she tell or should she stay quiet? Also all the adults Mark managed to trick by sneaking Beau passed them. The journey to the mountain was in no way easy but how easily he avoided people asking too many questions and tricking the police was maybe a little too good to be true.
The book didn’t move me as much as I’d hoped or expected. Maybe if it had just been focused on Mark’s journey it would have been different but it wasn’t just his life he was risking, there was Beau too. And the parts with Jessie’s POV showed how worried she, Mark’s parents, and everyone in their town was about Mark’s disappearance. I could understand him being tired of being that poor, sick kid in everyone’s eyes but was it really worth putting the people who loved him through all that?
It was a short book, not even 250 pages, so it left little room for a lot of development. There were also some loose ends that weren’t tied up, though I did like the ones that were left up in the air. Overall, it was a decent read and easy to read in an afternoon.