The Noticer by Andy Andrews is the first book in a long time that I have read from cover to cover in one day. In the style of a favorite uncle telling fables on the front porch, the stories are shallow, enjoyable, and don’t require a lot of hard thinking.
I loved this book and it did present me with some Perspective, as the title promises. However, the perspective is shallow and the situations highly improbable. I would have loved to see some more in-depth character and story development. The problems that people in this book had to overcome were far more than a little perspective can truly deliver. They are the kinds of problems that require hard work, and dedication to resolve.
That said, The Noticer was an excellent starting point on the path of becoming more self aware. On the other hand, if the book were more in depth, it would have run the risk of being entirely too preachy.
As with all of the books I’ve reviewed from Thomas Nelson, I shared The Noticer with one of my daughters. This time, I shared with Anna, my 16 year old. She read the book in record time, and was really able to take the lessons in it to heart. I’d venture to say that it has changed her “perspective” on more than one thing.
Late in the book, the main character Jones is teaching a lesson about integrity to a man who has none. He says he has decided to be a better man. Jones asks “Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left?” The man replies “Well . . . four.” “No,” Jones responded. “There are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things.”
Why am I sharing this bit of the story? Because my daughter now sheepishly calls herself the 5th Seagull whenever she realizes that the has not followed through on a decision she’s made. Without being prompted, she has been actively applying the lessons that she gleaned from this book to her own life.
I learned a few things from reading The Noticer, even though there is no real depth to the book. While I won’t go so far as to say that I now have a whole different perspective than I had before, I definitely think about some things differently. However, I’d say that the lessons were just “deep” enough for a teenager to really pull something from the book and make it their own. If you want to help your teen learn more about being true to themselves, having healthy relationships, integrity, and improving their communication with others, this is a really good starter book that is super easy to read.