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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  4,493 ratings  ·  840 reviews
Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He’s always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Er ...more
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published March 5th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Mar 14, 2012 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
Shelves: 2012, ala-ya-2013, ya
As seen on The Readventurer

There is not nearly enough YA books about friendships. For some strange reason, romantic relationships are promoted as more important. While I agree that at some point in life you do meet that special person who becomes your partner in everything, up until that point it is friends that help you out, support you, accompany you through life.

Friendship, the healing, supporting, non-judgmental type of friendship, is what Boy21 is about. Or is supposed to be about.

I love th
What a peculiar book. I'm not saying it was necessarily too offbeat but it was different in a way I didn't expect it to be. In a good way. In an excellent way actually.

Finley is heading into his senior year. Things look good for the most part. As good as things can be with living in Belmont--a town run by the Irish mob. He's been training all summer with his girlfriend Erin for basketball season. They both are on basketball teams. Erin is a star on the girls’ team and is pinning her hopes on ge
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*

Q, is for Quick

1.5 Stars

You can lose yourself in repetition – quiet your thoughts; I learned the value of this at a very young age.

Boy21 is my second Matthew Quick novel, and as far as comparability goes I have to say that I liked Silver Linings Playbook much more than this one.

I mentioned in a recent review (The Knife of Never Letting Go, I believe) that there is a timeframe within a story where a telegraphed secret has to be shared – a writer can either win me over or lose me entirely based
Jan 14, 2015 MLE rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: yad
Going into this book I thought it was going to be a story about friendship, and how that changes each boy's life, but I was very disappointed. It felt like the friendship was never given the chance to develop, and was almost an afterthought, and not the central theme of the story like the synopsis seemed to suggest.

I liked Finley, and I felt for his struggles, and his work ethic. I liked that not being a star basketball player didn’t keep Finley from working harder than the anyone else on the te
May 01, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Cara
4.5 Stars

“You don’t always get to pick the role you’re going to play in life, but it’s good to play whatever role you got the best way you can.”

Fate and its fun little twists can bring people together. When we need a push or hand, life seems to provide inspiration or help in one form or another. I believe with all my heart that we bump into and find people in this world when we need them the most. No matter how far we have to go—through time, land, space, or high school. In Matthew Quick’s Boy 2
Rating: 5 Stars

My Opinion Of This Book: Absolutely stunning book!

I wasn't really expecting much from this book since the blurb sounded pretty strange, but my goodness did this book blow my mind! Everything about this book was fabulous.

Finley: Finley is our main character. Instantly, there was this connected - and when I say 'instantly', I mean from like chapter 1. I honestly feel like me and Finley are one and the same (except I'm a gi
Finley's entire life is basketball and he trains tirelessly even though he's nowhere near the best player on the team. As his dad says, effort can outwork talent. Basketball consumes his every waking thought and he wouldn't have it any other way. Without basketball and the team he'd have too much time to remember all of the things he's desperate to forget. Russ is new to town, a basketball phenom who's love of the game died with his parents. Now he's calling himself Boy21, saying he's an alien l ...more
This review said EVERYTHING I wanted to say.

While I mostly thought it was a good concept of friendship, as well as personal conflict of love and basketball, alas, I was disappointed to feel that the conflict (and the idea) never really fully developed. The friendship was overshadowed. I never really got to see Finley and Russ connecting over basketball. Plus the Irish mob plot was a bit too much for me to completely enjoyed this book. Too many things at once. I am sure I will be happier if the
I think I have some sort of crying disorder. Seriously. The characters in this book have their tragedies and vulnerable emotional moments, both big and small, and it's all very authentic, but c'mon.

Next thing I know, I will be crying at heartwarming television commercials.

Oh wait, that's already happened. I need to read something funny, like NOW.

Real review later. This will be a good one for reluctant teen readers who want something both unusual and serious that doesn't talk down to them.

[I edi
Sarah (YA Love)
**I just finished reading this again as a read aloud. I love this book. 10/17/12**

Review originally posted at Y.A. Love

Plain and simple, Boy21 is a GREAT book. I was on the search for a quality read aloud for my freshmen English classes, so I picked up Boy21 on a whim. I wanted to read it anyway, but I kept thinking about my 3rd hour freshmen class that’s primarily boys who don’t enjoy reading. Boy21 seemed like the perfect fit for them, so I went with my hunch and started reading it. As soon as
Ella Fitzgerald-I'm beginning to see the light

WOW! This book was not what I expected it to be at all. I didn't expect to sympathize or connect to this book, because I felt like it would be JUST about basketball (Sport ,in general, are not my forte). Boy, was I wrong. This book has probably been the book I've connected to the most.

Why is it that some people are born into fantastic situations and others wait their whole lives for a break?

Friends and characters like Finley rarely exist in real li
5 stars

What made me pick Boy21 up? I've been trying to come up with the answer for about an hour now, but it's just not something I can explain, not in objective terms. It was like my spider sense was tingling or something. I only knew that this book would be something different, in a good way. I hadn't read anything by Matthew Quick before, or even heard of him. Yet everything about this book called to me. The title, the cover, the blurb - everything.

When I started the book, other than it's g
(2/1/13) My school’s book club chose this book because the author is coming to be a speaker at the annual writing conference. It was chosen I guess so we can ask him questions about it at the conference. I also have to write a small review for the school newspaper so I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do that…

Here’s the thing. I don’t like basketball. I don’t like playing it, watching it; I think it’s pretty boring. But it is a huge deal at my school. The basketball team is doing really well (s
Wow. Oh. Wow.

I did not know what to expect from this book. The cover didn't really appeal to me, but the gal at the Little Brown booth at IRA 2011 told me I HAD TO read it.

Wow. Oh. Wow.

She was right. This is a gorgeous book. A strange, wonderful, heartbreaking book. I read this in less than a day, I couldn't put it down. Once you start reading about Finley, and Erin, and Russ (who might be from space) you will not be able to stop.

This book comes out in March 2012, according to the back of the Ad
Cait Grace
I really loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, so HECK YEAH, I was up for another of his books. Boy21 was freakishly different and didn't connect with me I don't do the sport thing. Why do people always fight over a ball? SHARE IT, FOOLS. Didn't you learn that in preschool?

This is me with anything to do with sport:
Yeah. No.

As long as you like basketball, this book should be awesome for you, because the writing is GREAT. Matthew Quick is the master of writ
Erin Cataldi
I didn't even read the description, I saw it was written by Mathew Quick and I started reading. Two hours later I was crying in a bathtub and screaming at my cat. This book is intense. I was quite literally hooked from the very first sentence. I started reading it at dinner and I couldn't put it down, so naturally I took it in the tub with me to continue. An hour later I was crying in freezing cold water and yelling at the kitten to shut up and stop headbutting the door. It was so good I couldn' ...more
I loved "The Silver Linings Playbook" film (I've seen it several times now) and wanted to read the book, but since my sister gave me this to read, I started my Matthew Quick intro with this. And I'm glad I did! The protagonist and narrator, Finley, is intriguing: terse to the point of non-verbal, because of trauma that is only hinted at and never completely revealed in graphic detail (thank goodness!) is a lovely person with which to navigate the extremely impoverished and violent world somewher ...more
Boy21 is my school's Freshman summer reading book so I decided to pick up a copy. Can I just say that I'm jealous my students have this book, and a lot of other great choices for their summer reading?

I found Boy21 engaging from the get-go, the opening flashback was well done because it focuses so much on the emotions of the character. Something I notice is that even though Finley isn't one to use lots of feelings words, there is still so much emotion present in his narration. As a reader we kno
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
It's really hard to write something that intense about this story as the story itself - it's sad but yet full of hope, full of belief that a better life is possible, that miracles might really happen. Maybe not as spectacular as in the movies or books, however little miracles of everyday life, something to be really thankful for. Simply beautiful.
Emily Bradley-dorman
"Whenever I think the world is ugly - that life has no meaning at all - I remind myself that this is here, always waiting for me."

I think that even if I combed through every word in the English language I wouldn't be able to find the right ones to describe just how amazing this book is. It's Epic with a capital E! The story itself is relatively simple and yet it's characters are complex and the writing effortless. Boy21 drags you into its pages from the very first sentence and doesn't let you
Kelly Hager
Finley's whole world is basketball. He lives in a poor town with his father and grandfather (who's in a wheelchair; taking care of him is one of Finley's main responsibilities). He loves his family but really, he just wants to get out of Bellmont with his girlfriend, Erin. And basketball is the way out for both of them (Erin is also really good). And then his coach gives him an assignment: there's going to be a new student, Russ. His parents were murdered, and he's currently going through a hard ...more
I cannot believe that I’ve read three Matthew Quick books in ONE year. That seems like kind of an indulgence for me. You see, typically I might read one, MAYBE two books by an author within a year but never three. Yet, I could not resist Quick’s books. He’s got this writing style that just speaks to me. I feel like his books are short but each sentence, each phrase gives me an old one-two jab straight in the feelings. Boy21 by Matthew Quick had me feeling apprehensive at first, until I remembere ...more
I received a signed copy of this book through the goodreads First-read program.

Boy21 is a coming of age story about a boy, Finley, who has a deep passion for basketball, without much talent. He develops an unexpected friendship with another boy, Russ aka "Boy21," who has a lot of talent, but little interest in the sport. The two are very similar and, at the same time, very different within their similarities.

The relationship between these two is interesting, but I felt it could have been explor
Finley McManus loves being a starter on the varsity basketball team, even though he knows there's no chance to go pro. Basketball gets him away from the Irish gangs, the racial tensions, and the dullness of his family life. When Russ Washington comes to town, Finley gets a bit worried, both for his place on the team and for Russ himself. Russ's family was recently murdered, and Russ is now going by Boy21, claiming to be an extraterrestrial waiting for his parents to claim him when their tour of ...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Mar 19, 2012 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every boy in the world !
Praise for "Boy 21"!!

It is by far the best contemporary book for boys that I have ever read!!

Imagine if you will someone like Bruce Wayne. His parents get murdered and he decides to become Batman to protect the greater good.

Now flip it and imagine that Bruce Wayne is still a boy, his parents are still murdered, but Bruce isn't Batman.... he just wants everyone to believe that he is. He's just an average kid that starts talking crazy.

That's how I took Russel.

His parents were murdered in Californ
A slice of life about how one violent act has the power to change our perception of ourselves, the people we love, our environment, our priorities, and the measure of kindness we show others. There is a quote in the book by Scottie Pippin that says, "Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team."

The characters in this story have a tough time coming to grips with their past and their future as they learn that who they are meant to be in life may be differen
wow, a surprisingly great book.

I'm surprised only because, when reading the synopsis, this is not my typical kind of book. I don't typically read books about male friend ship and especially not about male friendships and basketball.

but I really enjoyed this book. It's not so much about boys or basketball, but is about friendship and love and how to weigh what's important in life.

Finley is an amazing kid to get to know. Boy 21 keeps you guessing.

but, by and far, Erin was my favorite character. I
As a teacher I had to read this as part of our One Book One School initiative. What a great book. I loved this book. Dug all the characters and their predicaments and even their resolution. The scene where they listen to Sun Ra was awesome. Wish my own kid had to read this instead of the stupid book their school chose.
Jackman Bayreuther
Boy 21, by Mathew Quick, is realistic fiction and is about a boy named Finley who lives in “The Hood”. Mathew Quick wrote this book to try to relate to his own life because he had difficult times as a teenager. Finley, the main character, experienced trauma when he was younger. His mother disappeared and his grandmother died. To escape his sorrows he plays basketball. Then his coach introduced him to a boy named Russell. Russell’s parents were murdered, so now he thinks he is an alien who says ...more
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SPSV Mrs. Rodgers...: Tyree Hornbeck 1 4 Dec 05, 2013 12:11PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Boy21 by Matthew Quick → Start Date: September 25, 2013 27 25 Sep 28, 2013 12:45PM  
2013 Hub Reading ...: Boy21 1 7 Feb 25, 2013 01:33PM  
AFS Summer readin...: How Finley and Boy21 were treated 2 4 Sep 03, 2012 01:15PM  
AFS Summer readin...: Finley and Erin's relationship 1 3 Sep 01, 2012 08:46AM  
Boy21 = Boy 21 3 22 Aug 28, 2012 12:59PM  
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Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. Q lives with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Bessette, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
More about Matthew Quick...
The Silver Linings Playbook Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock The Good Luck of Right Now Sorta Like a Rock Star Love May Fail

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“Someday an opportunity will come. Think about Harry Potter. His life is terrible, but then a letter arrives, he gets on a train, and everything is different for him afterward. Better. Magical."
"That's just a story."
"So are we- we're stories too.”
“I can always look up at the cosmos and marvel, no matter what happens. And when I look up at it, I feel as though my problems are small. I don't know why, but it always makes me feel better.” 19 likes
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