Fourteen year old Bulgarian, Nia, is attacked while taking a train across Europe (she is going to face her cheating ex-boyfriend in Berlin). She is rescued by Kurt, an unlikely hero. Kurt is a eighty-nine WWII American war veteran.
The premise of this story fascinated me from the start. I mean how often do you read a story about an eighty-nine year old man and a fourteen year old girl who become international crime suspects. It also is an amazing idea to flip points of view between Kurt and Nia. It is interesting to see the same situations through the eyes of two vastly different people.
I really love the personal and historical background that is sprinkled throughout 'The Unusual Suspects'. I really fell in love both Nia and Kurt. The flashback of Kurt's budding romance with his wife is one of the sweetest love stories I have read in a while. Kurt is one of my favorite characters of all time. He exemplifies the friendship you can develop by getting to know someone who is totally different from yourself. Nia's character shows amazing growth along the trip, both from her own experiences and from spending time with Kurt. It was amazing to see how Kurt and Nia's relationship as friends developed as the trip progressed. Also, I thought a train ride was an amazing choice of setting for this book. Not only does it give amazing scenery but is also a unique setting for a young adult novel.
This novel is a page turner. 'The Unusual Suspects' made me laugh, smile, and cry. It gives the reader an enjoyable ride while at the same time giving a lesson in both history and friendship.