Review: This Boy by Lauren Myracle

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Expected publication: April 14th 2020

Paul Walden is not an alpha lobster, the king lobster who intimidates the other male lobsters, gets all the lady lobsters, and wins at life. At least not according to anyone in his freshman seminar. But Paul has found a funny, faithful friend in Roby Smalls and, just maybe, caught the interest of smart, beautiful Natalia Guitierrez. Life as a sharply dressed beta lobster seems just fine, but in the tricky currents of high school, its pretty easy to get pulled too deep.

With perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle explores the point of view of a middle-class white kid as he navigates friendship, love, loss, addiction, and recovery. It’s life at its most ordinary and most unforgettable.

I’m super appreciative that that publisher sent me a copy of this book. It wasn’t a book I normally would have picked up but I’m always game to read something new.
Shortly after starting This Boy, I realized this book is not meant for me. I’m 100% not the demographic that I think this book is best aimed at. The synopsis says “with perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle explores the point of view of a middle-class white kid” and honestly, that’s very telling about what to expect from this book. I’m not a teenage white boy so I couldn’t relate at all and I didn’t find this character’s perspective to be of any interest to me at all. I don’t read Young Adult very often these days but when I do, I realize now that I usually grab a YA book with some diversity in it, something with a new perspective, something I can learn perspective from. This book isn’t any of that.
Outside of the complete lack of interesting perspective, I felt like this book was incredibly slow and boring.
Overall, to be completely blunt, this book brings nothing new or exciting to the YA genre and even though I think some male teen readers might enjoy this book, I think there’s many more YA books that provide a more interesting perspective and better plots. I’ve been reading YA for a decade now and I know there’s so many books out there with this same perspective with better plots. I wish I could have enjoyed this book but the basic privileged, middle class, straight, white boy narrative isn’t interesting even to compensate the extremely slow, boring plot.


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