I thought at first that I wouldn't be able to finish this book. It was so hard to get through the first half because I kept thinking of the real people that this has happened to. It was a good thing for me that the reader was getting the story from the perspective of a 5 year old who doesn't understand the enormity of his horrible situation. I've read the reviews of others who wanted the mother's viewpoint but that would have been too heartbreaking for me.
It was a little tiresome having each and every object in the room treated almost as a person with a proper name, but small children do have interesting quirks sometimes. He substitutes these for other people which wouldn't be unusual, I don't think. I also found a few of Jack's observations to be much too mature and insightful for his age. For example, he observed that people in the outside have too little time, seemingly because it is stretched too thin over all the space. Hardly the thoughts of a 5 year old.
The second half of the book was such a relief, but it didn't make sense to me when Ma tried to commit suicide. She seems relatively well-adapted except for her anger at people who question her handling of her life while in captivity. I thought the lead-up to that should have shown her as being much more freaked out.
Overall I thought this novel was pretty amazing because it takes such a depressing and difficult subject and turns a horrible situation into one with tremendous hope without being unrealistic or too mushy.