Boy X by Dan Smith (274 pages), started off terribly slow. I picked this book solely off of its cover because the main character looked like a person of color. I am always ecstatic for some diverse fiction. Unfortunately for me, the story had a doomsday/dystopian feel, which I do not like and explained why in my IMWAYR 3/27/17 post.
“It might help if there is someone to share it with you, someone to strengthen you, but sometimes you have to accept things for what they are- learn to live with them” (pg 51).
I was not super enthused with the beginning. It felt like a lot of telling and not enough showing. Also, Isabel just magically appeared like, “Hey boo, I’m ’bout to be a main character.” I understand Ash, the actual main character, did not know anyone, and the first person he saw was her, but I wish their introduction would have been more imaginative.
This is a really dark book for kids due to all the deaths, viruses, and again that dystopian flavor. For me, it teeters between Young Adult and Children’s Fiction because the subject matter is mature, but the writing itself seems like it’s catered to a younger audience than teens.
Ash starts out as a confused kid who does not know anything or himself, really. To be honest, nothing jumped out to me about Ash’s personality. He was somewhat like a reader-insert because he behaved how the average person would with his circumstances. With that being said, I did not dislike him and I thought his “I am Ash McCarthy” mantra was cute.
boring uneventful introduction, I liked her. She’s been dealt a crazy situation and tried to maneuver through it while being Ash’s emotional support. She was not a damsel-in-distress either.
“Like a superhero?”
“No.” He felt embarrassed at the suggestion. “Not like that. More like…” He tried to think of a way to explain it. “More like when you play a video game for the second time and it lets you keep all the upgrades” (pg 124).
It took at least a hundred pages for this book to become exciting. I almost dropped it on page 83, but I am glad I stuck with it.
The reveal of what Ash’s mother was really working on in the laboratory, from the mouth of the least-expected person, kept my interest. I think Boy X’s strength was in its climatic moments, which is ironic because most books have better build-ups and bad climaxes