Book reviews and recommendations, Young Adult 12-15, Young Adult 16+

Orla’s YA Book of the Month

Title: Boys Don’t Cry

Author: Malorie Blackman

Genre: YA General Fiction

Review: Orla O’ Brien (Kildare Town Library)

Synopsis: Bestselling author Malorie Blackman explores the unchartered territory of teenage fatherhood.

You’re waiting for the postman – he’s bringing your A level results. University, a career as a journalist – a glittering future lies ahead. But when the doorbell rings it’s your old girlfriend; and she’s carrying a baby. Your baby.

You’re happy to look after it, just for an hour or two. But then she doesn’t come back – and your future suddenly looks very different.

Malorie’s dramatic new novel will take you on a journey from tears to laughter and back again.

Review

Dante is on the cusp of having all his dreams come true. The book opens with him, fidgeting at the net window curtains, waiting in anticipation for the postman. Today is no ordinary day. He will soon have his A Level results delivered to his house. He allows himself to dream of going to university. Ultimately, he wants to become a war correspondent and cover news stories from abroad. However, before the postman arrives Dante gets an unexpected visitor, his ex-girlfriend Melanie. 

Even though Dante is highly intelligent it takes a while for him to cotton on that the baby that accompanies Melanie is his daughter, Emma. He is floored and flabbergasted, considering they only spent one drunken night together. Melanie dropped out of school shortly after that night so it is beyond a shock when she drops the baby bomb, that explodes in Dante’s ears. Melanie begs him to watch Emma for a while as she goes to the shop. 

Dante is repulsed by the baby and wants nothing to do with ‘it’. Hours pass and it is clear Melanie will not be returning anytime soon. In one hand he has the results he wished for and a nappy in the other.  His father insists that Dante takes full responsibility for Emma and dismisses the notion of putting her up for adoption. 

His father helps Dante out financially. He also gives emotional support and courage to an overwhelmed Dante. He too became a single parent after Dante’s mother died of cancer. 

Adam, his brother, who is extrovertly gay, is a natural with Emma. Adam is a flamboyant character that brings the book to life with his humour and good nature. He learns one fateful night not everyone is happy with his sexual orientation.

Despite what the title suggests, boys are human too, and just like girls, they do cry sometimes. The author explores the theme of teen pregnancy and how a life can be flipped over in a matter of minutes. There is no manual on how to live a perfect life. It’s all about living your best life with the hand you are dealt.

Available to borrow on Bolinda Borrowbox as an ebook.

Prefer a physical copy? Feel free to request it online from your local library make an appointment to visit your local library and collect it when we notify you it has arrived.

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