This book is full of smart people saying smart things and challenging themselves to be even smarter, and we don't just mean book-larnin'. After all, the main stakes here are at an academic competition. But academics aren't what make the book a little more challenging than your average read.
What's tough here is that reading the book is like plowing through a detective novel, only slightly murkier. How does Mrs. Olinski know Margaret Draper? Why did Noah's mom help Mr. Singh buy a house? Why was Ethan not at his own grandmother's wedding? And how, exactly, does Mr. Singh know so much about Epiphany? Sure, putting the clues together is part of what makes the book pleasurable to read. But we have to admit it can be a little frustrating.