Seventeen by Per Nilsson is about Jonatan, a seventeen year old boy who is lying in the hospital. When his absentee father, Goran, comes to his bedside Goran decides that, although his son may not be able to hear him, it is the perfect time to tell Jonatan about his life and why he hasn't been there for the past eleven years. During the story Jon also hears his mother Karin's side of the story and his girlfriend's point of view. The story will not be about what you expect. You may even find that your curiosity may lead you in one direction at the beginning and in another direction towards the end.
Seventeen begins with a wonderful opening paragraph. The structure of the book makes it easy for the reader to find a good stopping point and makes the book a quick read. The narrator tends to talk about pictures of his life and then gives background information on what is occurring; allowing the reader to ponder a bit before everything is fully explained. The novel's European setting adds to the brilliance of the book and is refreshing compared to the usual American stories most young adults read about in the United States. In the beginning, the story is told from the father's point of view. The entrance of Jonatan's girlfriend permits the reader to relate to the story on a personal level, as Jonatan's peer. Per Nilsson is very in tune with the mind of his reader. This is exhibited in how the opinions of the audience are addressed within the story and the realism with which the characters acknowledge their verbal and historical faults. Nilsson expounds the idea that even the events in life that seem insignificant, can be very life altering. Small and large events can change a person; including the day-to-day habits that provoke new thoughts and decisions. Although the book doesn't end the way one might expect it is still quite a satisfying ending.