Ben and Rose secretly wish for better lives. Ben longs for his unknown father. Rose scrapbooks a famous silent actress. When Ben finds clues and Rose reads enticing news, the children independently run to New York for what they are missing. Ben's story in words, Rose's in pictures, come together in deafness.
The synopsis to this story is so vague, but the story itself was so complex. I LOVED it. Ben's story is set in the present, while Rose's story is set in the past and told in illustrations. The plot lines entwined themselves together in such an intricate way, and it was beautiful. Brian Selznick also wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and I really liked that book as well, but when I read this one I fell in love with the characters, the illustrations and the story altogether. Don't be deceived from the page count. This book was completed in one afternoon because half of it is in the format of illustrations. As was previously stated, the photos were brilliant. You could see the emotions that they felt very clearly so I never questioned their moods or the overall tone of the book.
Ben and Rose have something in common, and you don't exactly put it together until later on in the story, but they also have something else in common that is sort of unveiled at the end. The story was heart wrenching, and everything came together in a satisfying way.
I will say this, however. Towards the end when the two stories meet, it begins to illustrate the whole story instead of just Rose's, and I had to make sure that I was looking at it correctly. It took a grand total of five seconds to figure that out, so I still believe it to be a solid five star read.
I realize that I have gone into very little to no detail when it comes to the actual plot of the story. However, I see it to be better if you don't know much about it going into the book. I will say that it is about two children. Ben is around twelve, I believe and he is dealing with the loss of his mother. Rose is around the same age, and the two stories connect in more than one way. I would recommend this book to anyone, really, and I think that it would entertain many types of audiences.