This involving tale of destiny, passion, and death takes teenager Jack Lund from the mysterious town of Memory, Minnesota, to the steamy jungle of World War II Guadalcanal to the sterile walls of a secret government asylum--all because of a strange metal door that changes the lives of all who pass over its threshold.
Details: "Mr. Was" by Pete Hautman, 256 pages, 3.83 stars on Goodreads
My Thoughts: First off, I love this cover! It's intriguing and matches the somewhat creepy and definitely suspenseful tone of the book. Normally, I don't really give my own synopses for books because I suck at writing them (you should see my first-draft query letters), but the Goodreads synopsis doesn't actually tell you much about the book. I'll do my best to summarize this accurately, but it's been nearly a month since I read this, so don't be surprised if I make a few mistakes here and there. If you've read the book and you notice an error I made, please do point it out!
The format of the book starts off as something being written in a notebook, switches to a series of letters, and then goes back to a notebook (if I recall correctly). The protagonist, thirteen-year-old Jack Lund, has a less-than-stable family. When his grandfather (on his mom's side) dies, they go live in his old house, which is big, old, and creepy. Jack starts having dreams of a small door, and one night, he finds it. Up to this point, the book had me on the edge of my seat, and I even got chills at some points. After it's revealed that the door takes him back in time, I was a little disappointed, but the book was still good. He went back to his present time and tried to forget about the door.
Three years later, his dad came home drunk and killed his mom. Jack was horrified and promised himself that he would go back in time and wait as long as he had to until it was the 90s again, and then rescue his mom just before she died.
I loved the ending of "Mr. Was". Even though it was rather sad, it fit perfectly and I can't imagine any ending would work better, because they would be rather paradoxical. At points the book got a little confusing and there's still one part I don't really understand, but it's definitely worth it. 4 smilies out of 5.