Boy21 by Matthew Quick

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Format: Paperback
Publisher: Headline
Published: 19th June 2014
Pages: 277 Pages

The Blurb
It’s never been easy for Finley, particularly at home.

Rating: 4/5


The Review
Finley is quiet (not shy), basketball mad and in love with a girl called Erin. His basketball coach unexpectedly asks him to look after Russ, or Boy21 as he likes to be known, because he is fragile and his parents have been murdered.

Boy21 focuses on three main topics:

– Boy21’s mental health and his coping with life after his parents’ death

– Finley and Boy21’s passion for playing basketball

– Finley’s love for Erin (and vice versa).

I suppose you could even say Finley was suffering from Mental Health issues himself too.

Other than a brief feeling of confusion near the beginning, I throughly enjoyed Boy21. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite Matthew Quick novel, but it was still enjoyable.

Finley was the type of character you automatically fall in love with because he was genuine and caring. He took Russ under his wing and never questioned the fascination with Space. I got the impression that Finley wasn’t an outcast, so it was good to see him take on Russ even though he was suffering and what people would class as a little unstable. Usually anything unusual is picked up in high school, but no one really minded.

The more you read, the more you realise that the story is about grief and change. Erin and Finley’s lives develop, as does Russ’s and being a teenager is what they struggle with.

One scene pulled on my heart strings and I couldn’t go to sleep until I read the chapters. You often find yourself wanting to carry on reading and because it’s written really well, it helps.


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