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Tuesday 5 October 2010

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman [Review]

Written by: Malorie Blackman.
Published by: Doubleday (Random House).
Format: Hardback.
Released: 28th October 2010.
Rating: 5/5 (Although it deserves more than that!).

Official synopsis: "In Boys Don't Cry, 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. You’re fine to look after it, for an hour or two, while she does some shopping. 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."

This book is incredible. Simply incredible. Words cannot possibly begin to describe just how incredible this book actually is! Everyone should read this book. Man, woman, and child. And teenage boy! It's such a thought provoking, even life changing read.

Dante is 17 and has taken his A-levels a year early. He's desperate to get away, go to Uni and make a life for himself. But then things go horribly wrong when his ex girlfriend, Mel returns with a baby. And it just so happens that Dante is the dad. In a moment, his life is changed forever and he must face the reality that Mel isn't coming back, that he now has responsibilities and cannot chase the life he once wanted for  himself. He begins to question and the questions get deeper. How can I get rid of it? soon turns to How can I provide for Emma? What can I do to make my daughters life better?

What I really like about Dante is that he is human. His flaws are there to see in plain daylight - there's no sugar coating, he makes right decisions, wrong decisions and throughout the book we see him develop as a person, as a man, as a son, as a brother and most importantly of all, as a father. This book has a coming of age feel to it - the responsibilities that come with age, the consequences of our actions.

Dante's voice is brilliant. It's just so engrossing, so honest. Dante's life changes completely and his experience really shows what it means to be a parent (be it as a teenager or an adult). You have to sacrifice yourself, and devote yourself wholly to the child - they rely on you. You aren't important any more, they are.

Throughout the book, we also learn more about Adam, Dante's brother. Another brilliant, and untimately real character. He's gay and isn't afraid of that, and is confident in himself - he knows who he is and what he wants. And just like his brother, he is facing challenges of his own. As a whole, I think Adam is my favourite character. There's just something about him. It doesn't matter what happens, he's a strong spirit, always cheerful (well, to a point, read and you'll see...). He just gives off this feeling to the reader - it's indescribable.

What I like about this story most is that it's real. Everything could, and does happen. It's such a thought provoking, eye opening book. It certainly made me think about what I would do - how I would react - if I were to become a dad tomorrow. The book is chock-a-block with lessons in life and is a must read. As far as I am concerned, this book should be added to the curriculum - we're often told stories of girls left to fend alone with their children as the father has shunned responsibility - as it's very rare to read such a story where it isn't the mans prerogative to do the running, the hiding. Boys Don't Cry teaches real lessons and should be read by everyone. Those who criticise will learn that not everyone is the same, not every teenage male can be boxed into one category, the same for teenage girls. It's judgement free and simply brilliant.

If you don't read this, trust me, you are missing out! Make sure you do whatever you can on 28th October to get a copy of this!

Thanks to Rosi at Random House for my copy! I genuinely cannot thank you enough!


  1. Agreed on all counts! Fab, fab book.

  2. Man I loved this book so much! I finished it yesterday and I am definitely going to write a review on it. Great review by by the way.