Tuesday, 16 February 2016

One In a Million Boy ~ Monica Wood

I'm not a reader of the well-known books in life, per se. I have never read books like Harry Potter, Pride & Prejudice (for zombies, or otherwise), War and Peace, Treasure Island, and other more modern well-known offerings. Sorry. I just never have. This is only to let you know that if I pick up a book to read and manage to finish it, it's because it captured me for some reason and I liked where the author was taking the story.

I haven't read any of Monica Wood's previous titles, so this was my first, and it is due for release this April.

You can read the back page blurb here.

Why did I like this book? Because it was different. The characters are wounded and flawed, and I really like the Dad, Quinn. He is what we call a "battler", one who perseveres through sheer will - if, for no other reason. His motive gains strength through the story as he morphs as an individual. None of the characters are perfect (except maybe the boy), and watching Quinn travel the distance is satisfying because, as you get older, you learn some stuff. If you don't learn life's lessons, you never grow up. Ever.

Quinn truly grows. One of my favourite moments came when he had a moment of personal revelation on David Crosby. When I look back at my earliest encounters with famous souls it is so easy to see how he travelled so far with the impressions he did. It's so simple and so profound, and it's these simple profundities that make a novel really tick.

Ona is one epic lady, and I liked her very much. Her 'task-focused' approach at times reminded me of myself, where I can lose sight of a person because I'm so intent upon my goal. Yet on many occasions, she is so people-focused she forgets everything else. Above all else, I enjoyed her wisdom and perspective, which can only be acquired by living so many years and through so much. Older people are SO cool.

The final chapter was the best by far, and DON'T YOU DARE read it before the rest of the book simply to find out what it says, or else you will ruin its impact completely. To be with the boy, to know his thoughts, it is intimate and beautiful, and this section is done in such a lovely way that it makes the whole unforgettable.

As I said, this isn't my usual story, and perhaps that's much of why I liked it. There was a bit much swearing for my liking and this always makes me hold a story at arm's length. Quinn's encounters and experiences with the Christian boy band are also interesting to me, and I'd be interested to know where Monica wrote from in these sections. Curious...

Yes, I recommend a read. I think this will be a fantastic book club choice that will provide many questions, and I hope it does come with prompts for clubs who like to dissect their reads more thoroughly.

If you're an older soul, I'd enjoy knowing what you think of this one.

Reader copies can look so smart!
The white bit comes off, leaving a completely red book.
How snappy! :)


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