It's the summer of 2001 in New York City. Sixteen-year-old Heller works for Soft Tidings, a messenger service whose employees visit the recipient of each message and tell them the news in person, rather than just delivering a note. Soft Tiding's motto is "news with a personal touch". Heller drives his bycicle recklessly aroud the city instead of using rollerblades like his colleagues, and gets away with it because he is the best at delivering bad news.
One day, Heller delivers a Turkish man the news that his beloved got married to another man. He later discovers this man is an irregular immigrant who sells books on a stand. This is the start of their friendship, as well as the beginning of a memorable summer in which Heller will learn to relate to people in a new way.
There were very good parts in this book. There were also some thing which felt overused, or barely believable but put there to keep the plot going. For example, wouldn't Sylvia recognize a boy to whom she has served coffee every day for some weeks? The whole result is good, but not the most original story ever.
I basically liked this book. It included excerpts of poems by Nazim Hikmet, who was a pleasant discovery and whom I will be checking out later.