Review of Boy 21 by Matthew Quick


Published: 19th June 2014
Pages: 288


Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights and Finley is left alone to take care of his disabled grandfather. He’s always dreamed of somehow getting out, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. The life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won’t pick up a basketball, and yet answers only to the name Boy21—taken from his former jersey number.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, “Boy21″ may turn out to be the answer they both need. Matthew Quick, the acclaimed author of Sorta Like a Rock Star, brings readers a moving novel about hope, recovery, and redemption.

Exciting Film News From Matthew’s Website: Tom Heller (Producer: 127 Hours, Precious, Mud, Win Win) is developing BOY21 for film. Just let that settle in…


Thank you to BookBridgr for kindly supplying me with my Matthew Quick fix. In my eyes, he is an absolute genius. In his book bio, he states that his nickname is Q. Can this be changed to Mr Genius, please? Seriously, I have so much love and respect for this man. This was the fourth book which I read for #sunathon in July.

The preface cements that Finley likes to shoot hoops. Immediately, Zac Efron in High School Musical popped into my head. He’s very good at it – Finley that is – but he’s not facing up to what is going on within his house. He’s not much of a talker and who can blame him? He’s been through the worst time of his life; losing his Mother. Due to the fact that he’s quiet 98% of the time, that means he doesn’t stand up to men when they comment on his girlfriend. Erin wishes he would and so did I.

“You have a calming presence, Finley.”

When we meet Russ aka. Boy21, we’re made aware that his obsession with outer space is on a whole other level and I really liked that about him. Later on in the narrative, readers learn why he’s so obsessed and it was extremely touching when he opens up to Finley. Finley, Erin and Boy21 quickly become a loveable trio. I didn’t quite follow why Finley and Erin went their separate ways before basketball season began, but it broke the trio up and I didn’t like that. They were the Young Adult version of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Finley grew in his own time and it took an “accident” for him to realise how special and important the people around him are. It’s not all about basketball and I was happy that he realised that.

“So what if Wes wants to read Harry Potter?”

Matthew Quick writes with such confidence and comfort. He teaches his readers to love the characters for who they truly are and to see past their problems. What I like the most about the people he creates – they’re not complex, they’re real. The ending was magical, just like Hogwarts. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book… AND WATCH THE FILM!!

Twitter: @MatthewQuick1
Website: www.matthewquickwriter.com