Painless by S.A. Harazin is the story of a teenage boy named David. David was born with CIPA, a condition in which he can feel no pain. David has lived significantly longer than most born with CIPA, and now he is trying to live life on his own. Both his parents have abandoned him and he currently lives with his grandmother, but David is 18 and is ready to move on with life just like those his same age are around him.
David is very much focused on himself, the wrongs that have been done to him, and the ways in which he doesn’t fit in. He spends the first two-thirds of the book mainly focused on these things and the fact that he has a crush on his new caretaker, Luna. The last third of the story, David’s focus turns outward to his parents and the people around him in his life.
I was really excited about this book, having read an excerpt of it in a spring release compilation. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The writing was simple and juvenile, like it was written for middle-graders. This would not be a bad thing if the book didn’t touch on some pretty big topics and themes. Such as, death, the loss of those closest to you, perseverance and forgiveness. The simplicity of writing with the combination of heavy topics make the book seem off balance.
I also found it frustrating that David’s character arc seemed to be stretched out. About halfway through the book, I found myself asking where the story was going and when it was going to get there. Based on this frustration I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.