Stop looking! No one notices my staring. Like mine, their eyes are always on Erin. But his eyes always seem hopeful when he says that I can outwork talent over the long haul, and so for him—and for me too—I try my best to do just that. The nights Dad watches me play basketball, I truly believe that those are the best in his entire life.
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For some strange reason, romantic relationships are promoted as more important. While I agree that at some point in life you do meet that special person who becomes your partner in everything, up until that point it is friends that help you out, support you, accompany you through life.
Friendship, the healing, supporting, non-judgmental type of friendship, is what Boy21 is about. Or is supposed to be about.
I love the idea of this novel. His goal for his last school year is just to be on the team and play well. Enter Boy21, another damaged young boy, a rising basketball star, who suffers from a mental breakdown after the death of his parents. Finley is entrusted to guard and partner with Boy21 in school. And also guide him back into playing basketball, because, among other things, what Boy21 had lost is his passion for the game.
There is a very interesting conflict here: Should Finley encourage Boy21 to play, knowing that he will for sure take his place on the team? Should he sacrifice his own dreams in order to save his new friend, because maybe basketball indeed has a power to heal Boy21, bring him back from the imaginary escape world he exists in now?
To my disappointment, this conflict never really comes to the front of this novel, never develops to its full potential, never impacts the characters as strongly as it could and should have. I feel like Boy21 is a case of the writer having his fingers in too many idea pots.
The main point of the story is just lost. I do not want to take away from the merits of this novel. I admire Quick and some passages in Boy21 made my eyes tingle.
But I do think this books lacks clearer focus and a better overreaching story arc. As often is with these things, I am a little baffled by the overwhelmingly positive critical reception of Boy It has already received some serious starred reviews from several major professional publication.
His previous YA novel - Sorta Like a Rock Star is a much more accomplished work, in my opinion, and yet it went almost unnoticed. Do I recommend Boy21? Yes, but with some reservations.
For some strange reason, romantic relationships are promoted as more important. While I agree that at some point in life you do meet that special person who becomes your partner in everything, up until that point it is friends that help you out, support you, accompany you through life. Friendship, the healing, supporting, non-judgmental type of friendship, is what Boy21 is about. Or is supposed to be about. I love the idea of this novel.
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