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Friday, October 23, 2009

An Unprecedented Turn of Events/Boy Toy/Quotes on Friday/YA Festival

This blog postcomes to you in four parts (and yeah, I totally stole that line):
PART ONE An Unprecedented Turn of Events
In an unprecedented turn of events that no one saw coming, I actually wrote two blog posts in one week! Hospitals, prepare for stroke patients.
Today's review is Boy Toy by Barry Lyga.
"Lucky thirteen," my dad said when I blew out the candles on my birthday cake, and my mom shot down his lame attempt at humor with a disgusted "Oh, Bill!" But honestly, that's not the important part. Not at all.
BOY TOY by Barry Lyga
2007, Houghton Mifflin Company, 416p
buy here
Notable awards: None I can think of
Notable books by the author: Goth Girl Rising, Hero-Type
Summary: Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.If only he knew what the truth was . . .
Review: I was really excited about this book. Seriously. I was so excited to read it. AS soon as I got home from the library I sat down and started reading. And the first 175 or so pages? Amazing. And the next?...
Well, that's the thing. I'm not really so sure about what happened after that. I mean, Boy Toy was fun to read and all, but I don't know. Things didn't turn out the way I thought they would. At all. Not that the way they did turn out was bad, but still.
The book was good, there's no denying it. I liked the plot and really liked the premise. The characters were real and funny and even when I was supposed to hate them, I couldn't. Not even Eve. I don't know if that was what the author intended or not, but that's how I felt about it. In fact, if it wasn't for the ending, this book would've gotten an 8.
But the ending...
It wasn't that the ending was bad or anything. It was just really unsatisfying. I felt that so much more could've been done. The baseball subplot was tied up nicely and effectively, and while I'm sure it wasn't the author's intent, I felt it was the best done of all the plot endings. The others just didn't come together so well. I felt like...well, I felt kind of cheated.
Verdict: Overall, Boy Toy is pretty good. The author uses elements like foreshadowing and past-and-present-tense-switching (I have no idea what the real name for it is) to great acclaim. But really? I felt cheated. And that's never a good thing to feel when you finish a book. But don't take my word for it. Read it for yourself and see what you think.
Rating: 6.75
PART THREE Quotes on Friday
I don't particularly care how many calories it has, anyway. I love those butterscotch things, and besides, I'm too skinny. My mom says it's nervous energy, and I'm thinking she's right. I've probably burnt the calories I've set on the table just by worrying about the grade I'm going to get on the Faulkner paper I've just turned in.
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Excitement is filling the air here at Random High School Gym. Or at least, here in my corner it is. Tommorrow I'm going to Austin, Texas for the Austin Teen Book Festival. Several amazing authors will be there: Libba Bray (author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and the recent Going Bovine), Justine Larbalestier (author of the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy, How to Ditch Your Fairy, and the recent Liar), and Deb Caletti (author of tonnes of books, including Wild Roses, The Nature of Jade, and the extremely excellent The Fortunes of Indigo Skye. I am extremely excited for this event, which promises to be at least mildly kickass. I plan to get my recently acquired copy of Going Bovine signed by Libba Herself, as well as attend panels, eat food, and do other stuff. I'll tell you how it goes Sunday.


  1. So sorry you didn't love BOY TOY as much as I did. I thought it was seriously awesome!

  2. Yeah...that review was harsh. It seriously deserved at least an 8. I guess I was just feeling badass or something. Who knows?