Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

The premise of this book is one that is bound to disturb many people who read it. And the book lives up to that reputation. However, the matter is dealt with in a way that is easier to read, because the main character is looking back at events that happened five years previous.
Josh is a senior in high school, someone who everyone knows, but not because he is popular or well-liked, although he is a critical member of the baseball team. Everyone knows him because five years ago he was involved in a sexual molestation trial against his seventh grade history teacher. And now his former teacher, Eve, is being released from prison. Josh struggles to deal with his memories of the molestation, his friendships, his college decisions, and the girl that seems to like him regardless of what she knows about his past. He comes to realize that he has been punishing not only himself, but his closest friends for the past five years, and he begins to accept the truth about what actually happened to him.
This book was a little bit shocking due to the rather graphic nature of the material. I think it is better for the reader that we are learning about the past, rather than experiencing the present, during the sex scenes. What was most shocking for me was the way that Josh had dealt with what happened to him for the five years in between - he still blames himself. It is in dealing with the revelation that it was not his fault that Josh truly begins to grow up, and finally begins to heal.

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