Monday 2 March 2015

Boy21 by Matthew Quick

Title: Boy 21
Author: Matthew Quick
Published: 19th June 2014
Publisher: Headline


I was quite excited to read Matthew Quick's first Young Adult novel as his other books have been so good.

Initially I wasn't really sure where the book was going to go, and I did actually think about giving up on it, but I persevered and I'm so glad I did as it was a heartwarming and thought provoking read.

Boy21 tells the story of Finley. Things have never been easy for him but his love for basketball and Erin keep him going. But then Russ arrives. He goes by the name of Boy21 and believes that he is from outer space. Finley is asked by his basketball coach to look after him, but what only Finley and his coach know is that Russ is one of the best basketball players in the country and he's after Finley's starting position.

Once we got introduced to Russ, aka Boy21 in this story I was completely swept up in Russ and Finley's lives. This felt so real and so raw. The characters are all so complex, and yet the writing is so simple. I found Russ a fascinating and deeply intricate person. The way he deals with shock by believing that he is from out of space sent to study what we earthlings call emotions, was actually ingenious of Matthew Quick. He tells us that no matter what way we choose to deal with events that happen to us, it's ok. What I also particualrly loved was all the Harry Potter references, it even got me thinking about Harry's situation in a different light and how even though he is from an imaginary place, he still has to deal with similar things to us and he, like we will, will find a way to deal with it and get the break we need.

Finley's and Russ's friendship was actually kind of beautiful. I did really feel for Finley as he is an honest person and when his starting position in basketball was on the line, I felt just as worried as he was. Although Russ clearly needed help, I could completely understand Finley's 'selfishness' in not wanting Russ to take his position. But what was so incredibly done was how Mattthew Qucik conveys how the thing you think you love he most and think you cannot live without, may sometimes not be and that if it is taken away from you, it may not be so bad. And how the role you are dealt in life may not be the one you want to play, but you need to play it as best as you can.

Although this is a Young Adult book, I definitely think this is a book for all ages. It manages to teach you so much in such a short space of time.

Really thought-provoking, heartwarming and intense. Boy21 is a brilliant read from Matthew Quick.


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