Henry is a wonderful kid. It's impossible not to grow attached to him despite the fact that you know - from the back cover, from the very first page - that he's dead. Shapiro does a wonderful job of bringing Henry to life through his journals, his parents, and his actions. Henry, like any other fifteen-year-old, is emotional, quick to fall in love, quirky and loveable. He meticulously details his life in a journal written on graph paper, which his parents find after his death. Although one of Henry's worries is about not being unique enough - about not belonging to a minority group - Shapiro easily demonstrates his unique personality and shows that everyone is special and different in some way.
Though the book stays mostly lighthearted and comic, I was surprised by how the last few pages affected me. I knew Henry's death was coming, but I wasn't prepared for it. It really is a book that manages to make you quietly fall in love with the characters, every single one of them, and you don't even realize it's happening till it's done.