Thursday, July 31, 2008

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1 edition (September 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618723935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618723935
  • List Price: $16.95
  • I finished this book on July 28
Okay, so, I read Mr. Lyga's other book The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl way back when. I also saw Lyga speak and very much enjoyed his presentation on the History of Geekery. So, when this finally showed up at my library (why do book orders take so long to come in? It's like having perma-blue balls. Ugh) I knew I had to read it.
So, Josh was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his female teacher when he was 12. Very Mary Kay Letourneau. Anyway, the abuse eventually comes out and the story follows the life of an older Josh, who is still dealing with (or not so much dealing with) his abuse. High school Josh is applying to colleges and trying to get a baseball scholarship. He is also trying to repair a fractured relationship with his former b/f and possible love interest. Oh, and his parents are douches. And he thinks he is a sex-pervert and that the abuse was his fault. Oh, one more thing: his abuser is getting out of prison. Frickin awesome. As if this kid doesn't have enough problems.
This abuse in the story is told little by little in flashbacks, it's honest and frank, but it isn't kitty porn. The guilty party is a 24-year-old teacher. This really skeeved me out because she's obviously bonkers and I'm a 25-year-old high school teacher and I can't even fathom how this happens. The cool thing about the book is that it isn't just about this abuse, it's really more about Josh's life now and how his past is influencing his present. It was all really artfully handled, really. Josh's character is well written and the story wraps up pretty nicely. Oh, and the baseball stuff wasn't too much for a non-jock like me to handle. It was actually pretty well done. I followed it and I was interested. All in all I think I like this one better than Fanboy and I will continue to keep an eye out for Lyga.
Sountrack: Hot for Teacher by Van Halen. Because it's totally inappropriate and there's nothing funny about this book book's abuse. And I love inappropriatness (and making up words).

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