Boy Toy – Barry Lyga

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Form: Paperback Book

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everybody knows what it is.

Five years ago Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town – seems like the world – thinks they understand. But they don’t – they can’t.

And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost year ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.

Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.

And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was…

Source: back of book

One Word Summary: Terrific
I try and find something I like and something I can pull from every book I read, therefore my reviews probably indicate that I REALLY LIKE a lot of stuff, and authors. I read a lot of Janet Evanovich, because she created fun, witty characters and humerous situations, I’ve begun to fall in love with Nora Robert’s books (what romantic book lover hasn’t?) But in reality, these aren’t my favorite authors or even favorite books – not by a long shot. While these books are captivating and fun, the characters are usually really good…but once I’m done reading or listening to them, that’s it. It’s over. In fact, as of right this second, I have 4 books that need to be reviewed and put up on my website (and probably will have been by that time this one is posted, because I like to post my blogs in the order I read them) – but they are just sitting there now because they are done, and I’m not thinking about them. The books and the authors that stick to me the most are the ones I can’t get out of my head. The story and/or the characters fascinate me so much that they don’t go away.
Barry Lyca is becoming one of my favorite authors. His characters are so real they feel like they are your friend; so much so that when the book is finished you feel like you’re missing something in your life. You want to pick up the phone and contact your long, lost friend. The only time I’ve gotten so attached to characters is during the Twilight Saga.
I semi-hesitatingly want to compare Barry’s writing to Jodi Picoult. Mostly because Jodi Picoult tackles life issues and questions that people tend to want to avoid; (i.e. school shootings, using in-vetro insemination to create the perfect donor for your sick child) and she takes these taboo issues head on and attempts to answer the questions that come up from all sides of the story. She always created a well rounded story with awesome and compelling characters. Typically, Jodi’s books are a bit more thorough, and are of a tragic nature, which is why I can’t read her books – the cause an ache in my heart that I don’t want. I read books for fun, and I don’t really like it when they make me feel depressed. Barry is similar, in my opinion, in both The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, and Boy Toy. Both books have taken hard-life scenerios that could and probably are happening on a daily basis and creates these amazing characters who live, learn and grow through their issues – and so far, giving you a bit of a “happily ever after” feeling when he’s done. I think he’s a great role-model writer for young adults, inspiring hope in those of us (yes, me included, along with any other teenager who is honest with themselves) who are different, who have issues, who have had hard times, etc., etc.
Boy Toy is about sexual molestation. I know in the forward of the book he says it isn’t really, and I can see why he would say that, but it is. It’s not the actual molestation that is the story, although you do get a clear picture of what happened, but it’s the results of it. It’s how it effects the next 5 years of Josh’s life, and then it’s about how Josh takes a stand and takes his life back. But then, the story is not just about how it effects Josh’s life, but Zik – his best friend, Rachel – his other best friend and girlfriend, Josh’s parents, George (the molester’s husband); all of these people have been changed, affected and are different as a result. But mainly, it’s Josh.
I’ve said a lot already. You know I love the book. I don’t want to ruin it or spoil it for anyone. Just trust me, this is an excellent book! Read it! (But please, be cautioned, this is defiantly meant for older teenagers. Lost of language and sexual issues in this book.)

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