Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Ordinary Boy" is No Ordinary Read

I've not posted anything on this blog in a very, very, very long time but I thought I'd bring it out of mothballs long enough to share a book review from Goodreads as I think this book is definitely worthy of not just reading but reviewing and recommending!

Ordinary BoyOrdinary Boy by Stacey Longo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a rule when I think about Stacey Longo's writing I think of words like "Terrifying and scary!" but the only thing that's terrifyingly scary in her new book is how well she - as an adult female - has managed to get into the mind of a teenage boy. Even though the opening of the book tells us that Curtis Price is dead, Stacey does a terrific job of bringing him to life along with all of the nuances growing up as an outsider in the 80s entailed.

In "Ordinary Boy" you meet ordinary people who lead ordinary lives but they're ordinary people that you like, ordinary people that you don't like, and ordinary people that you've no doubt met in the course of your own ordinary life. Stacey Longo has written an extraordinary story about an ordinary boy who may have led an ordinary life but who is anything but ordinary as there is a little of Curtis Price in all of us.

Curtis is a good kid with a good heart growing up on the wrong side of the tracks (if Osprey Falls, Maine has tracks that is!) with a mother who can't afford to pay the bills, his older sister Sally that he shares a room with even into his late teens, and his beloved Nana who exits the story way too soon. Like a lot of kids from broken homes, Curtis has a dad who fails to pay his child support and barely pays any attention to the kids he left behind leaving Mom to explain about things like wet dreams and other parts of growing up male that should have been answered by dear old Dad. It's in some of Curtis' conversations with his mother that you really have to wonder if Stacey Longo grew up as a boy in another life as she's got male puberty nailed down quite well.

Growing up in The Meadows, Curtis is not one of the popular kids in school nor is he one in his own neighborhood after a brief indiscretion but he doesn't go out of his way to try to become one either. He frequents his local library (good boy!) where some of his best friends are found in the pages of sci-fi and horror novels, makes a real-life best friend in another outsider - Al - whose family has money but a lack of familial warmth, works at a local nursing home where he truly cares about the residents there, and falls in love with a girl who in turn loves Curtis for the sensitive, good guy that he is. Unfortunately though, there are adults in the book who make a lot of bad decisions which end up in Curtis' tragic death which in turn ends up showing Curtis that he was no "ordinary boy" after all.

The true hallmark of a good writer is when you want to reach into the pages of a story and shake or slap a character or two and that's exactly what you'll want to do with several of them in this book. A story that you're going to have a hard time putting down once you pick it up, I highly recommend an "Ordinary Boy" which left me with a few questions but that's good as it meant I cared about the story's characters and I think you will too.


View all my reviews

5 comments:

  1. Welcome back. I was reading a piece of an old post on my blog and it linked to you. I thought, "What's she been up to?" You missed 2014 here... Happy New Year!

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  2. Thanks, I will look for it.
    Missed hearing from you, I have been absent a lot lately myself.
    Kat

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  3. I must look out for that one!

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  4. You are awesome. Thank you.

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