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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  6,536 Ratings  ·  1,198 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 liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
Shelves: ya, ala-ya-2013, 2012
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
Jul 04, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is now my second favorite Matthew Quick book behind Silver Linings Playbook. The last one of his I read was so weird (The Good Luck of Right Now) that I don't even remember what it was about. This one had a great story and an interesting message. If you have just finished a monotonous read and need a quick pick me up (only 5 hours unabridged audio), this is worth giving a try.

It has some light-heartedness. I has some despair. It has comedy. It has tragedy.

Side note: I finished this
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
Jan 14, 2015 MLE rated it it was ok
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
Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

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
May 01, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
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
May 09, 2012 Noelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Mar 31, 2015 Carina rated it it was amazing
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
May 10, 2013 Ami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2016 Irshad rated it liked it
Honestly the only reason why I picked up another Matthew Quick novel was because of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.
It was one of my favourites back in 2015 and the brilliance of that book made me pick up another book by the same author. Thankfully I was not disappointed. I mean yeah this novel isn't as amazing as the other but still, it was good.

Boy21 follows Finely, an 18 year old boy who plays basketball and his jersey number is 21. He has a girlfriend named Erin who also plays basketball and th
David Schaafsma
My first Quick book, and it turned out far differently than I thought it would. The main character is Finley, Irish, a Philadelphia high school senior, rough neighborhood, who lives with his Dad and (legless) Grandpa. Who knows where Mom went. Finley doesn't really talk a lot, but he plays basketball and has a girlfriend he likes to make out with constantly. He's the one white kid on his black bball team.

One day his (black) coach asks (white) Finley to help him successfully help welcome a new k
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
Michael Tham
Feb 14, 2016 Michael Tham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book has been very thorough, its extremely detailed and only because of Matthew Quick's craft. I absolutely love it! He manages to make one verb/noun/adjective a real stand out in that particular moment, and I love that because its quick(no pun intended), filled with thought and deep with emotion. Another thing I also loved is that I could really relate to this book, since i indeed do play basketball and know all about the game. It really gave me an arousing feeling and made the book a whole ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Cay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
Mar 02, 2013 Owen rated it it was ok
(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
Cait (Paper Fury)
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
Aug 22, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
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
Iara Picolo
Jul 12, 2016 Iara Picolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro lindinho, emocionante e com lições super legais.
Adorei <3
Erin Cataldi
Dec 26, 2013 Erin Cataldi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
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
Mar 12, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it
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
Om Manghani
Oct 13, 2015 Om Manghani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-8
One of my favorite novels so far this year- Boy 21 really did relate to me in many ways.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing "Boy 21" develop as a person. At the start, he was trying to fit in, but as the tides turned, he ended up coaching the main character through a very tough time. It was almost as if the two characters swapped roles, and the author just changed the names at the end. This definitely made the book very interesting.

If you love basketball, or sports in general, this is amazing. Not only
Paula Guinto
Thank you, Matthew Quick, for writing this novel. You gave a quiet boy a voice, young love a simple but powerful image and built a beautiful story around friendship, suffering, healing and recovery. Your language was accessible but your ability to hold on to that one piece of information at just the right time meant effective storytelling. Thank you. My students will want to pick this one up once I book-talk it in class. I already know of one reluctant reader who couldn't put your pages and Finl ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Jul 31, 2014 Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk) rated it it was amazing
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.
Heidi Branch
May 18, 2016 Heidi Branch rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's both gritty and almost sweet or childishly innocent at times. Don't let the cover or title fool you; it's realistic fiction all the way. A little off the beaten path, but as the third book by Matthew Quick I've read, it's the norm! Highly recommend.
Madi Butkiewicz
Oct 12, 2016 Madi Butkiewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely loving book about teenager named Finley. Finley is the most caring and most trustworthy person you could ever meet! Finley is the starting point guard on his high school basketball team and has been for a long time. Finley always has this big feeling that couch would put everyone else on the team before him. But when coach decided to come to his house to talk to Finley about something, Finley knew something was up cause coach never comes for visits or asks Finley to do anyth ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Draco rated it liked it
Boy21 is about three people but only has one main character. His name is Finley, he goes to a school in Bellmont runned by a mob of irish men. He playes basketball as a way of getting away. Finley is the only white person on his varsity basketball team.They call him White Rabbit. He is doing great until coach brings him someone who threatens his position.

I like this book to a point it has a really terrible ending. It was really bad. I feel like they could have done better. I thought that the boo
Leshad Conner
Oct 12, 2016 Leshad Conner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book Boy 21 a novel by Matthew Quick basketball was always a escape for Finley. He lives in a town called Bellmont , a very ghetto town ruled by irish mobs and there's a lot of violence there and it's a very dirty place , trash everywhere broken down cars just a very bad place. He is a varsity basketball player, the only white kid on the varsity team and they call him white rabbit because of that reason. He has a girlfriend named Erin , something might happen to her and Russ, known as boy ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Jonah rated it really liked it
Finley is a boy who loves playing basketball, and his girlfriend, Erin. He is the only white kid on his basketball team and he gets called white rabbit. When coach comes to talk to Finley about a new student, Finley is puzzled. The new kid, Russ is very good at basketball. Finley begins to worry about his starting spot. When he meets Russ he is baffled. “Whoever is behind that door is absolutely insane”. Russ has an unhealthy obsession with outer space, But also has a very strong backstory. Russ ...more
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Matthew Quick 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 more than thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, among other accolades. Matthew lives with his wife on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
More about Matthew Quick...

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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.” 23 likes
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