Monday, February 11, 2013

BOY21 by Matthew Quick

When Finley's basketball coach pulled him aside and asked him to take the new kid under his wing, Finley could never have imagined what was in store.  He never would have guessed that the oddest friendship he had ever experienced would benefit him in any helpful way.

Finley lives in a rundown town controlled on one side by black thugs and on the other side by the Irish mob.  He lives with his dad and his wheelchair-bound pop, where talking about his mother's death is off limits.  Two things make life worth living - his girlfriend Erin and basketball.

The only white kid on the basketball team, Finley plays point guard and does it fairly well.  The day Coach asked Finley to keep an eye on a new kid named Russ and help him transition into school and hopefully onto the basketball team, Finley agreed because he always did what Coach asked.  Finley is given the details about Russ but asked to keep them a secret.  The kid is from California and was a star basketball player courted by all the big college scouts.  Everything fell apart for him though when his parents were murdered.  According to Coach, Russ is moving in with his grandparents and trying to recover from the trauma of losing his folks so violently.  Coach also mentions that Russ only wants to be called Boy21 and insists he is from outer space.

The strange friendship is created and with Finley's help Russ begins to open up.  As Russ's secret becomes known, Finley finds secrets from his own life begin to surface and threaten to destroy all he values in life.

Author Matthew Quick uses basketball as the centerpiece of an unusual story of friendship, love, and loyalty.  Finley's story is sure to touch the hearts of readers from start to finish.

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