Book Review: Boy21*

image – Matthew Quick


It’s never been easy for Finley, particularly at home. But two things keep him going: his place on the basketball team and his girlfriend, Erin – the light in even the darkest of his days.

Then Russ arrives. He answers only to Boy21, claims to be from outer space, and also has a past he wants to escape. He’s one of the best high school basketball players in the country and threatens to steal Finley’s starting position.

Against all the odds, Russ and Finley become friends. Russ could change everything for Finley, both for better and for worse. But sometimes the person you least expect can give you the courage to face what’s gone before …and work out where you’re going next.

My thoughts:

This is another of those books where I read the description, thought it sounded awesome and then wasn’t as enthusiastic when it arrived. I’m not sure why that happens!

Anyway, in Boy21 we meet Finley, a teenage boy who’s life revolves around basketball and, when not in basketball season, his girlfriend Erin. His basketball coach asks him to look after Russ, the new kid in school. Russ has had a hard time recently, and had quit basketball. Finley’s job was to help him around and to get his love of basketball back. Just one thing though – Russ is a little strange. He prefers to go by the name of Boy21 (21 being his basketball number) and is adamant that he is an alien, and his parents will be coming for him soon. So yeah, he’s a little strange and Finley doesn’t really know what to think to begin with.

They become friends, and Finley starts to get used to Boy21’s strange ways. Most of the time they don’t talk, but I loved seeing their relationship develop. I don’t often read books with males as the main characters, so it was a nice change to read about a good male friendship!

As we get deeper into the story I guess Finley can be a little selfish, but as a teenage boy it’s kind of expected. He’s been playing basketball forever, and when his position (and number) is compromised because of Boy21, Finley doesn’t feel too pleased about it. Understandable, of course.

Something big happens, and a lot of things change for Finley. He and Boy21 still remain friendly, as we do get to see a bit more of Boy21’s past, and he opens up to Finley towards the end.

Now the actual ending was a nice twist, I think, though maybe seemed a little quick and unbelievable. I thought the background information was interesting, and a really nice addition with Finley and his Grandfather/father. I also like how it all tied in with Erin, though as I said, I wasn’t sure I could believe the actual ending! Nevertheless, it was happy and everything worked out!

I would recommend this just because it’s a bit of a strange book. As I said previously, it was nice to read about two teenage boys developing a friendship for a change. I thought the whole issue with Boy21 was interesting and quite a unique scenario.

My Rating – To see my rating guide click here.

*Thanks to Bookbridgr and Headline for sending me the book to review!