I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publishers on NetGalley. I was a bit skeptical at first, but knew that I should read it once the request had been approved. I must admit I was quite surprised by what the storyline turned out to be, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best book I’ve ever read…
Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
‘What Milo Saw’ by Virginia Macgregor
9-year-old Milo suffers from retinitis pigmentosa: his eyes are slowly failing, and he will eventually go blind. But for now, he sees the world through a pin hole and notices things other people don’t. When Milo’s beloved 92-year-old gran succumbs to dementia and moves into a nursing home, Milo begins to notice things amiss at the home. The grown-ups won’t listen when he tries to tell them something’s wrong so with just Tripi, the nursing home’s cook, and Hamlet, his pet pig, to help, Milo sets out on a mission to expose the nursing home and the sinister Nurse Thornhill.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets Wonder, What Milo Saw is an emotional and moving novel about one exceptional little boy. Milo sees the world in a very special way and it will be impossible for you not to fall in love with him, savour his story and share it with everyone you know.
What Milo Saw is contemporary fiction, more aimed at young adults but could possibly be enjoyed at an older age as well. It tackles a lot of issues throughout the storyline, including disability, financial struggle, living as a refugee, tackling old age, and many more. Set in Slipton, a town I came to believe to not be far from London, I enjoyed the fact I was reading a book set in my home country (I have a thing for books set in England!) The events are very logically laid out, and even though it is written in third person, the story comes from different characters perspectives in a way. The whole story was fairly predictable, any good reader would have easily guessed how it would turn out, so it wasn’t a particularly climactic ending. Despite this, the plot took a steady pace, and all the threads added up.
I enjoyed Tripi’s character the most, being a refugee from Syria in a completely unknown environment, his characterisation was just as I expected it to be. His character was able to show readers that there are refugees who do have good intentions and his story definitely tackles those issues within it. The other characters were well developed and because the storyline was so realistic it made them seem more alive than they might have been in a science fiction novel.
My favourite part of the book was the ending, when everything was tied up in a neat little package, even though there was the predictability element, it’s always quite a nice feeling to see everything and everyone come together. I found the scenes in the nursing home to be written the best, mainly because I was able to fully picture the scenes in my head, and also put the issues into perspective. The end of the book did make me cry, as a scene close to the end did touch me quite personally. There were some parts I felt that were trying to be humorous but were not as funny as they may have wanted to be.
In the end, the book wasn’t entirely bad and a waste of time like some I’ve read, but I wouldn’t say it’s up there with my favourites. If you enjoy reading very real storylines that look into social issues through characterisation and story telling then I would recommend you look into reading it, but if you’re not too bothered, you may be able to bypass this one on your shelf.
My Rating: 3.5 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)