Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: Boy21 by Matthew Quick

Finley's life revolves around basketball. In the summer and fall he trains for the season, in the season he devotes his life to his team and the game, and after the season he starts training again. With his dad working nights, he's also in charge of his Pop, who needs a lot of help ever since he lost his legs. At home it's just the three of them, unless Finley's girlfriend Erin is over.

Right before the start of his senior year, Coach comes over to ask Finley a favor. He wants Finley to befriend a new student, also a senior, also a point guard, who used to be nationally ranked. After his parents passed, Russ stopped playing basketball and transferred from his prestigious high school in California to Bellmont High School in Pennsylvania to be with his grandparents. Also, Russ now wants to be called Boy21, and is waiting for the spaceship that took his parents to come get him.

Torn between the strange friendship that grows between himself and Boy21, and the desire to be a starter for the basketball team, Finley isn't sure what to do. It has more to do with his past, and the reason he doesn't like to talk than difference in the color of their skin.

Matthew Quick gives us a powerful story about friendship, family and how being in the wrong place at the wrong time can make or break a life. Finley is a quiet boy who has a lot boiling behind the surface, and thanks to his awesome girlfriend Erin he kind of comes out of his shell. Boy21 is an awesome athlete who needs to get back to the court to start to heal. Basketball might bring them together, but it isn't everything.

Boy21 is a must read for readers who enjoy books by Matt de la Pena or Chris Crutcher. Basketball fans will enjoy the training and the game situations, and don't worry the relationship parts only add to the realness of the book, it's not too mushy.

I'll see you @ the library!
Katie (Now reading The List by Siobhan Vivan)