Author: Matthew Quick
Source: Giveaway prize
Buy it: Here
Finley is focused 100% on basketball - he's even dumped his best friend and girlfriend Erin for the season, so that he doesn't get distracted. Finley also doesn't talk much, and has a complicated and painful past. So when Coach shows up at his house, and asks Finley to help new kid Russ fit in at school, he doesn't know how he can help. But it's Coach, and you always do what your coach asks.
It took me a while to want to read this book. Books centered around sport are not something I would typically reach for, but I was interested in reading more from Matthew Quick after loving Silver Linings Playbook. Once I began reading, I found so much more than a basketball try-out novel. BOY21 is endearing, highly readable and presents some very deep issues in it's short length.
I instantly loved Russ, who is struggling terribly with grief while hiding his secret; that he is a brilliant basketball player. I loved Finley for his terrible innocence, and his silence. I loved Erin for her hopelessness. These characters are all doing that they can to work their way out of their town, and hide from their own truths. Each of them are sacrificing something for each other. Argh, it's just too cute!
Once again, Matthew Quick explores mental health, and the fragility of grief. I found this to be sensitively done and actually created some of the most beautiful scenes of honesty in this book. Basically, read it!
I read this book in a day and loved every second. BOY21 is a bittersweet novel of friendship and understanding, of words unspoken and of love. Very highly recommended.