This Boy

Lauren Myracle. Walker Books US, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0605-0
Divided into four sections, each representing one high-school year, this coming-of-age novel chronicles teenage Paul Walden’s progression from naive freshman to senior navigating crisis and addiction. During the first three sections, he comes across as a stereotypical, if witty, privileged adolescent male whose small world revolves around girls, designer goods, and video games and rap music, interests he shares with his best friend, Roby Smalls. Paul’s problems are minor: his single mother is supportive, he has ready access to the porn and weed that he enjoys, and even when he betrays Roby by dating his crush, their rift is short-lived and easily resolved. It isn’t until senior year, when Paul experiences a personal tragedy, that he reckons with harsh realities about happenstance and fate, turning to a range of prescription drugs to escape his emotional pain. Myracle (Under the Moon) gives a frank depiction of Paul’s grief, rapid physical decline, and arduous journey to recovery that casts a new light on Paul’s previously carefree adolescence, offering a universality to the cautionary tale. Ages 14–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/13/2020
Release date: 04/14/2020
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-978665-64-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-978665-67-5
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