Saturday, July 07, 2007

Review: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

When Josh was thirteen, something happened to him that changed his life drastically. A woman named Eve wrecked his life. And even though it’s supposed to be a secret, everyone in town knows about it.

Five years later, Josh is still dealing with what happened when Eve is released from jail, blowing the whole thing open again. He’s also wondering about Rachel, the girl who was part of revealing the truth years ago, and who seems to want to be back in his life now, for some unknowable reason. And, of course, he’s got the stresses that any high school senior does on top of all of that.

To finally be at peace with it all would help. To finally understand what happened, the way everyone else seems to think they do. They can’t understand, but they like to think they do. If only Josh really did understand. If only he could figure it out, and straighten out his life. If only it were that easy.

In BOY TOY, Barry Lyga’s wonderful second novel, he shows himself to be a brilliant author (one whose first book I’ll be looking for!). I was a little surprised at the serious subject matter dealt with in this absorbing story—for some reason I had expected something fluffier, I guess—but that made no difference once it had grabbed me (and it did so right away). The characters populating the novel are well-developed, and their relationships with each other were also very well done. This is a book that could easily fall into the pretentious-sounding category of “literature,” but I mean that in a good way here! Well worth reading, BOY TOY is highly recommended to anyone looking for an engaging and well-written book that defies the expectations of people who think all young adult books have something in common with the likes of GOSSIP GIRL.*

Four 1/2 Stars

*I personally think that sort of book does have its place, but it's not what we who love young adult books want to show as a good example to people like what's-his-face who said YA lit was going down the toilet or something. If you know who I"m talking about (I don't remember the name), please tell me!

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