Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Books I've Read: Boys Don't Cry


With it being the holidays, I've been reading a lot more than I usually do and have been getting through a book a day for the last few days.  This was yesterday's book, and one I really enjoyed.

Dante is seventeen.  He's just finished his exams and is eagerly awaiting the results that will tell him whether or not he's qualified to go to university to study journalism.  The last thing he's expecting is his ex-girlfriend of more than a year ago to show up on his doorstep with a baby in tow.  A baby she claims is his, the result of his one and only sexual encounter, a brief, disappointing drunken few minutes at a party.

Claiming she needs to pop out and get some nappies and other things for the baby, Melanie leaves Emma with Dante for just a few minutes.  But then she never comes back.  A phone call hours later tells Dante she feels unfit to be the baby's mother and she's leaving Emma with him.

Dante's world - and that of his brother and father - is turned upside-down.  Nights out at the pub with mates are suddenly off the table.  So is university and the career Dante has imagined for himself for so long.  Reality is suddenly teething, crying, trips to the park and the endless anxiety that comes with bringing up a child.

While Dante is struggling with the realities of becoming a new father, his brother Adam has his own problems.  Openly gay, he's a target of local bullies, but keeps it to himself because the worst of the bullies is Dante's best friend and Dante has enough to deal with right now.  

This is a brutally honest book about the challenges of becoming a parent too young.  It's also a book about learning to communicate with the people you care about and to accept change as inevitable.  Dante and Adam are real, flawed characters, but by the end of the book you're really rooting for them to overcome their various challenges and find their places in the world.

I really enjoyed it.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

This is the explosively page-turning new novel for teenagers from the author of the award-winning "Noughts and Crosses" sequence. You're about to receive your A-level results and then a future of university and journalism awaits. But the day they're due to arrive your old girlfriend Melanie turns up unexpectedly ...with a baby ...You assume Melanie's helping a friend, until she nips out to buy some essentials, leaving you literally holding the baby ...Malorie's dramatic new novel will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the final page.

1 comment:

  1. Leaving a baby with its teenage father without a word beforehand is... one of the more horrifying concepts for a YA novel.