Review: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

Starting middle school entails many things for a pre-teen boy: a chance to make new friends, join a club, and start noticing girls. Specifically that last part, and especially for Josh Mendel, though that isn’t something he’d admit to anyone.

Unfortunately for him, everyone in his town knows why.

Eve wasn’t something, or someone, that should’ve gotten out. The way she talked to Josh, spent time with Josh, touched Josh, was something that he wanted to keep locked up and as far away as possible after the trial.

She was, after all, his social studies teacher.

Now five years later his social life, and romantic life, is riddled with cracks, and even nonexistent in some parts. Still, since Eve has been released from prison early, Josh is being forced to grow up even faster than he had when he was younger.

Though the book flips between flashbacks of Josh’s middle school life (and thus his relationship with Eve) and present day, where the wounds of his past are still as raw as ever, the book flows. Lyga expertly probes a very sensitive topic, refusing to hold anything back when it comes to one boy’s, now man’s, experiences. That refusal to hold back, while this is a young adult novel, is perhaps best enjoyed by more mature readers.

By the end of the book all one can ask is, what would I do if I were Josh?

5/5 Stars (And definitely one of my favorite YA books)

(Amazon - Goodreads)

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