Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Boy in the Black Suit

Rate this book
Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

272 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 6, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jason Reynolds

78 books8,956 followers
Jason Reynolds is an American author of novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audience. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, Jason Reynolds moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he gets home.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,471 (30%)
4 stars
3,671 (45%)
3 stars
1,673 (20%)
2 stars
272 (3%)
1 star
68 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,473 reviews
Profile Image for Jillian Heise.
2,320 reviews483 followers
July 3, 2015
A quietly hopeful book that reaches for the heartstrings and makes the reader want to be and do better, while never seeming like that's what's happening. The balance this book strikes between grief and community and friendship and hope and relationships and strength and looking forward and really living life while taking place in an innercity neighborhood is what makes it so powerful. It has moments of brilliance that I wanted to bookmark and put on a poster on my wall, but in Jason Reynolds' writing style never felt preachy at all. I did not expect to be so touched by this book, but truly was. There is just something about this character, what he's struggling for, the relationships he has, and the way it is written that all worked for me. I want everyone to read The Boy in the Black Suit, and I'll start by handing it off to my students. Reynolds is an incredible new voice in children's literature, and I hope he sticks around for a very long time, because he is writing stories about kids in neighborhoods that need stories about kids like them and the people they know and things they go through every day, and this story just felt so real and honest, and that is thanks to the writing of Jason Reynolds.
Profile Image for Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner).
387 reviews1,731 followers
January 18, 2021
Posted originally at my blog The Perpetual Page-Turner -- come hang out for book talk and more!

I’m just saying this right now — Jason Reynolds is an extraordinary talent who needs WAY more recognition. I was so, so impressed with The Boy In The Black Suit. It’s smart, moving and

1. The Boy in the Black Suit was a book that I related to immensely: It’s no secret that I gravitate to books dealing with grief –especially that of a parent– and Jason Reynolds explored this with such finesse and beauty. Now, if you hear “grief” in the summary and normally go running, I’m begging you not to. It wasn’t the ugly sobbing sort of book about grief and it most definitely is NOT all about grief. Rather it was just so quietly profound and piercing in its emotion as Matt grieves his mom and tries to find normalcy in the after and tries to deal with that crushing loneliness that seems to separate you from everyone else because nobody seems to be able to truly understand — whether or not that’s true. I cannot even tell you how many pages I dog-eared because I just kept nodding my head like, “YES. Exactly this. I felt this.” I understood his need to watch someone else’s raw grief to know he wasn’t alone. I just connected with him so much and Jason Reynolds tapped into something REAL and raw that made my heart ache.

2. I loved the relationship between Matt & Lovey: I loved that Lovey doesn’t actually come into the picture right away because we really get to know Matt in a way I think we need to in order to show his loneliness but the downside to that is I WANTED MORE MATT AND LOVEY because they were just so smile inducing. Their connection is just so beautiful and honestly it reminds me a lot of how Will and I really connected for the first time in a real way. There’s something so isolating about grief and when you find someone who GETS it, it feels so intense. That’s how Will and I connected at first (I had just lost my mom and he had lost his mom when he was younger) and then it’s what brought us even closer together as a couple when he lost his dad a couple years into our relationship. What Matt and Lovey share is hard to describe but Jason Reynolds lets you FEEL it in such an honest way.

3. Matt’s POV is one of the best male POVs I’ve read in a while: Truly, his POV was just so refreshing and really captivated me. This book is definitely a character driven novel and Matt felt like a leap off the pages type character to me. God, Jason Reynolds is just a fantastic writer.

4. Mr Ray. That’s all I’m going to say: Look, you just need to meet Mr. Ray because he is one of my favorite secondary characters that I’ve met in a while.
Profile Image for Naoms.
706 reviews163 followers
August 15, 2016
Originally Posted at Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

I am having a renaissance. It’s cultural, personal and steeped in my own identity. I am reading writers of color and characters of color. This seems obvious. I’m black. I am of color. I am from the Bronx. I was born in the city and bred in the hood. Of course, I read books about people like me. Only, for most of my life I haven’t. In high school I was handed F. Scott Fitzgerald, S.E. Hinton and J.D. Salinger. I read and reread The Outsiders so many times, because somehow in my heart I connected with these white teens, who were poor, lived on the wrong side of town and buried friends. I got that. Because, I was poor, I lived on the wrong side of town and I buried friends.

For the longest time, I thought that S.E. Hinton would be the closet I’d ever get to what my life was and has been. Then I met Adam Silvera, and Jason Reynolds and suddenly I was awake.

Suddenly, in order to get characters of color I don’t have to read “urban” novels that I consumed like candy in my youth. It’s not all about The Coldest Winter Ever or Push. Now, I have More Happy Than Not, that is human story about kids who live in neighborhoods not too far from where I grew up, with a sci-fi edge. I can read When I Was The Greatest and get invited to the hottest house party in Brooklyn or I can go on the journey of lost, grief and acceptance with Matt in The Boy in The Black Suit.

I love this book, because of its simple complexity. For years, with my love of werwolves and vampires and space ships, I forget that a story doesn’t need complex time travel loops in order to be good. A story can be about a young man who has to move on from the greatest loss of his life. Simple. And, yet emotionally compelling. Matt, with his simple and chill look at the world pulls you in. He’s the kid who lived next door from you, no matter where you grew up. He’s that kid, who is nice to his peers, respectful of his elders and trying to figure out who he is.

He’s the kid who does not deserve the life that has suddenly been given to him. Which is what makes his journey so compelling. He doesn’t deserve it. How will he react when his life gets flip turned upside down?

Something I love about Jason Reynolds is that he gives you the hood, and all of it’s truths without being over the top. Just because you live in Brooklyn doesn’t mean you’ve held a gun. Doesn’t mean you’re best friends with a drug dealer. It doesn’t mean that you have beef with rival gangs. Does that life exist outside the walls of your apartment or house? Yes. Does it have to be your truth?

No. It doesn’t.

There’s this thing in literature and movies where if you come from a certain place your life has to be an NWA album. It doesn’t. That stuff can touch your life, but it doesn’t have to be your life.

Jason Reynolds gives us truth. We know the world on the other side of the door, but we get the inside. The loving mother who taught you everything you need to know to survive. The best friend, who is loyal to you in the midst of everything. The girl, you meet by chance who makes your heart beat again after all the heartache.

This book made me sad, it made me laugh, it showed me a world, a culture and a neighborhood so apart of me that I rarely get to see it in books, tv, or the movies.

This book is so real and yet so entertaining and so thought provoking. Jason Reynolds doesn’t have to draw out in minute detail why Matt puts on his suit every day and goes to the funeral home. We get it. We feel it in the pages, we feel Matt’s emotions. His confusions, his heartache, and we feel it when his heart begins to mend, when he begins to heal, even though he will always have hole there that was his mother.

I highly recommend this book and also everything by Jason Reynolds. Just too good to miss out on.

Reccomended for fans of Adam Silvera, Nicola Yoon, Jennifer Niven and Walter Dean Meyers.
Profile Image for Shaun Hutchinson.
Author 24 books4,717 followers
April 2, 2015
Damn. This book. Just...damn. A beautifully written, quiet, character study of a young man who seeks solace after his mother's death by attending the funerals of others. Jason Reynolds is amazing. Read this book.
Profile Image for Paula.
Author 2 books220 followers
January 5, 2015
The ONLY reason this realistic book that is by turns funny and heart-wrenching did not get 5 stars from me is the author's reliance on coincidence to stitch his story up at the end.

Dear Jason Reynolds - your story and certainly your characters are strong enough to carry the tale through to a satisfying conclusion without tying up all the loose ends in a bow. You can let 'em finish messy. Love, Paula
Profile Image for ♥ Sandi ❣	.
1,320 reviews18 followers
June 2, 2022
4 stars

Anything by Jason Reynolds - YA or not. He always has so much to say. I enjoy his work and know that young adults relate to him too. He always has something to say in the most subtle of ways. I believe my favorite is still Long Way Down, but this one was also good.

Young lovers on the brink of their lives, offset by the hardships they had already endured. Living and learning and trying their best. Hard lives with fresh faces. Standing together waiting for whatever the future brings.
Profile Image for Siyona N.
11 reviews7 followers
December 13, 2016
When Matt's mom dies from breast cancer everything falls apart. For instance, his father starts drinking again a habit he stopped so he could marry Matt's mom. News spreads like wildfire through Matt's town so when he goes back to school everyone treats him like the boy with a dead mama. At least Chris ( his best friend ) doesn't treat him differently. His dad stops working so Matt tries to find work at Cluck Bucket a joint near his house. At Cluck Bucket, Matt meets a girl who he thinks is named Renee because of the name necklace hanging around her neck. Her name is actually Lovey and she has gone through a lot. Mr. Ray turns up to Cluck Bucket to get dinner and ends up giving Matt a job at his funeral home as well. Mr. Ray's Funeral Home pays him enough money to get dinner and pay the bills. He does that even though seventeen years old is too young to have to act like a proper adult! Matt is very upset about his mother's passing but he finds that watching other people who were close to the passed person at funerals makes him feel that he isn't the only one who feels like that. One day at a funeral, he recognizes the person closest to the passed person. It is Lovey from Cluck Bucket. Matt tries to look for a breakdown from her but she never sheds a tear. Lovey makes a speech and Matt finds out that Lovey never met her dad, her mom was killed, and this was her grandma's funeral. Matt accidentally stays until the after party where he and Lovey talk. Later they get together and start dating. I think it is nice for Matt to have Lovey to talk to because he understands what he's been through. Then Matt's dad gets run over by a car and almost dies. Read The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds to find out what happens to Lovey, Matt, and his dad. There are not many books that are similar to this book because it is truly different than anything that I have read before, but if you like books that start out gloomy but get happier then you would really like this book! What I liked about this book was that it showed how when you are feeling down and gloomy you can use one little thing to make you feel better, then you see that that little thing that made you happy then could turn into something great that always makes you happy. What I didn't like about the book was the actions of Matt's dad after his wife died. I can't blame him for making those choices because his wife and son were his life before, but I didn't like where that choice took him. I think book left me exhilarated and feeling thankful that I have a full family and so many things to make me happy.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,635 reviews34k followers
January 25, 2015
I liked the narrative voice and I liked the protagonist, but I set it down about halfway through. I think it was lacking the spark I was looking for, in the dialogue and in emotion. I'd try another book by this author down the road, though.
Profile Image for Trinity N.
25 reviews6 followers
September 23, 2016
Matt's life went downhill ever since his mom died. His father became a drunk and acts like everything's ok. But it's not. Matt earned a job that earned him $30 a day witch isn't too bad, since the Cluck Bucket probably pays a lot less. Oh, did I mention that his job is a pallbearer? Yep, that's right. He works at a funeral house. He's fine with it though, because it lets him know he's not alone when it comes to death. He slips into back of the funerals and watches them until it's over. It doesn't matter if he has no clue who they are. He doesn't enjoy watching people cry over the lost, but it comforts him to let him know that he has some grief to give too. Then, on particular day, when he was pallbearing and slipping into the back of the funeral, he listens to a girl named Lovey. Yes, is a ridiculous name, but her speech made Matt's life sound like a piece of cake. She lost her parents and said that this was the funeral for her grandmother. Here's the catch: she won't cry about it. Her eyes were dry but remorseful and sad, yet had confidence in them at all the same time. Matt admires her for that, and they begin to get to know each other and find something shocking. This book. May have grief in it, but the grief is not that bad where it makes you cry. Instead, for those who lost their loved one, can relate. Readers who enjoy romance and cliffhangers will enjoy this witty, loving, and caring book.
Profile Image for Bethany.
51 reviews2 followers
November 10, 2016
I was not impressed with this one. In fact, I was bored. The book drags on and the reader waits and waits for some big event...but nothing happens. I was really hoping for a book that teenagers who have suffered loss could really connect to, but I don't believe this is it! I know teenagers pretty well, and it's doubtful they would wade through this book.
Profile Image for Beth.
2,935 reviews199 followers
August 3, 2015
Matthew Miller is still reeling from the loss of his mother, but now he must deal with his father who is drinking to numb his feelings. To help pay the bills, Matt has been given a job by Mr. Willie Ray, a friend of the family's, at his funeral home. Matt finds working there and attending these strangers' funerals oddly comforting as he continues to navigate his own grief alone.

One day, while working another funeral, Matt meets Lovey. A girl with a strange name, but who appears mature and composed despite the death of the grandmother who raised her. As the two become closer, Matt finds himself both smitten and confounded. Confident and insecure. One thing is for sure though, as Matt grieves over not just the physical loss of his mother, but the emotional loss of his father, he sees what a special connection he shares with Lovey, one that they will eventually discover goes back to their childhood.

Jason Reynold's 2014 debut novel, When I was the Greatest, was one of my favorite books of 2014. It deals with the topics of family, friendship, and community with tenderness and sensitivity. In Jason Reynolds' sophomore YA novel, The Boy in the Black Suit, he tackles the topic of grief with that same gentle sensitivity. Reynolds is a voice in young adult literature that is so desperately needed right now. Reynolds wants readers to see the side of his neighborhood and those like it, and hear from characters that most people don't automatically associate with the words Bed Stuy. (Do a Google search of Bed Stuy and the second thing that pops up under auto-fill is "Bed Stuy crime.")

My one complaint about The Boy in the Black Suit is that it didn't seem long enough. At just over 250 pages, it felt like it needed 50 more pages and could have used some tightened editing because there were a few things left unresolved or unadressed that readers will undoubtedly question. As a voracious reader, I understand that everything doesn't need to be tied up in a neat little bow by the last page, but a mention of the things left unresolved would also make the ending feel more satisfying. Some strands never wove together into a definitive denouement. So when I came to the last page, I thought for sure there was be another chapter, and was surprised when I turned the page and had come to the end.

I am someone who gravitates toward character-driven novels, and that is what Jason Reynolds does best. Matt Miller is a character you want to know. You feel for him. You want to be friends with him. And you want to know how his story ends. Which is why my affection for Matt has left me wanting more.

Even with my dissatisfaction about the way The Boy in the Black Suit ends, Jason Reynolds has quickly become a must-read, no-questions-asked author for me. That has been even further reinforced by his poem-a-day in April on his blog. His poetry is so profound despite its few words. But I already knew that based on the amazing book he co-authored with his friend Jason Griffin called My Name is Jason. Mine Too. Our Story. Our Way, an under-the-radar book that will undoubtedly be getting more attention now that Jason's star is on the rise. I've already got his 2016 novel, Long Way Down, on my Goodreads TBR list despite very little information about it. I am looking forward to reading ALL THE BOOKS from Jason Reynolds. I don't doubt he will have a long and storied career.

Read my entire review on my blog.
Profile Image for Richie Partington.
1,102 reviews129 followers
August 20, 2015
Richie’s Picks: THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT by Jason Reynolds, Atheneum, January 2015, 272p., ISBN: 978-1-4424-5950-2

“I don’t need no money, fortune, or fame
I’ve got all the riches baby one man can claim”
Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, “My Girl” (1964)

“We started up the block, our cement world of trash cans blown into the street, stray cats begging, stoop sitters dressed in fresh sneakers smoking blunts in broad daylight, old ladies sweeping the sidewalk, tired nine-to-fivers walking slowly on the final stretch before home. The buses, and cabs, and bicycles, and skateboards. The shop owners hollering out their two-for-one deals. The little girls singing, the older boys laughing, the babies crying, and the two of us moving through it all.”

Matthew Miller’s mother has died, and his father has quickly become a basket case. After 20 years of sobriety thanks to Matt’s mom, his father’s drinking again. Seventeen-year-old Matt needs to find part-time work after school to help pay the bills. He’s very much on his own.

Matt narrowly avoids a grimy job at the Cluck Bucket fast food place. Fortunately, he bumps into Mr. Ray, the funeral home owner he met at his mother’s service. Mr. Ray offers him an after-school job. (No, he won’t have to touch dead bodies.)

Trying to heal from his loss and loneliness, Matt begins paying attention to the funerals at work. He watches other bereaved people deal with their pain and tries to understand how he might get past his own.

Matt wears his work clothes--his black suit--to school, which is why the book is called THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT.

Meanwhile, Love is a young woman whom Matt’s seen working at Cluck Bucket. They have their first real meeting at Matt’s workplace, crossing paths at Love’s grandmother’s funeral. Love, an orphan, has been living with her grandmother. Now she, too, is very much on her own.

I’ve read many contemporary young adult novels that feature an exceptionally quirky teen character finding someone to hang with, or two exceptionally quirky teen characters finding one other. In contrast, Matt and Love are both young everyday people, decent teens stuck in tough positions in a tough neighborhood. Finding one another is a salvation.

There is authenticity to these characters, the Bedford-Stuyvesant setting, and the tragedies in their lives and their neighborhood. It’s easy to connect with Matt and Love.

Mr. Ray, the funeral home owner, is a complex adult character. He’d once been a promising athlete, but his career ended before it started because of a terrible injury. He becomes a friend and positive father figure to Matt while also working out his own issues.

Well-crafted and thoughtful, THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT shows how a pair of young people can come to care about and help each other in a rough and often unforgiving world.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_...
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
December 14, 2014
A really solid, quick read about a boy working through his own personal grief by working at a funeral home and building new relationships. It's a quieter book, but emotionally resonant. The romance that buds between Matt and Love is sweet and realistic -- it's not immediate, it's not hot-and-heavy, and it's

More to come. It was refreshing to read a story like this from a black teen boy's point of view.
Profile Image for Brandy Painter.
1,632 reviews251 followers
April 8, 2015
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds came out the first week of the year. I heard good things from several people, and was eager to try on of Reynold's books. Boy was I not disappointed.

Matt Miller is a boy who wears a black suit to school every day. His mom died of cancer recently, but that's not the reason for the suit. Matt, a senior on an abbreviated schedule due to good grades, works every day at a local funeral home. He arranges flowers, sets up buffets, washes cars, and sometimes acts as pall bearer. He also attends most of the funerals. Sitting in the back, he soaks up every ounce of heart splitting grief he can. Matt has close friends, both old and new, who are there for him though and don't allow him to get swallowed up in his own grief. Friends who will have his back, broaden his horizons, and bring him back, little by little, into the world of the living.

Matt's world shrunk considerably when his mom died. He lost his position at the bank he was supposed to be working at for school. His father started drinking again after years of sobriety. He lost almost all the joy in his life. Matt loves to cook but finds he can't because it reminds him too much of his mom. In the days closest to her death, you can see that he is only hanging on by the barest of threads. As the days and weeks pass, it gets a little easier. His method of coping is a bit odd. He goes to the funerals and focuses on the person who appears closest to the deceased, and then eagerly awaits for the breakdown of grief he knows is coming. Like living vicariously through these grieving people keeps his own close enough that he never forgets what he's lost. Then his father ends up in the hospital and he's living alone. I felt so bad for Matt and worried for him. But I like his progression away from his grief too. He slowly begins to live a little. He hangs out with his best friend, who works hard to keep things as normal as possible between them. Matt's new boss becomes his mentor, sharing the hard times of his own life and giving Matt advice. Then there is Love, a girl Matt meets who brightens his world. She expands it too, dragging Matt into places he's never been and sharing her own pains. Through his relationships with the people around him, Matt takes his steps back into his full self, slightly altered but with a sense of purpose and reason to keep living.

The relationships and community are central aspect of The Boy in the Black Suit, and I found them all equally real, important, and necessary. This book showcases how the people in a person's life can make all the difference in times of crisis. I enjoyed all of the interactions between Matt and the other characters from the playful typical teenage banter he shares with Chris to the deep philosophical discussions with Mr. Ray to the tentatively healing superficial conversations with his dad to the gamut of conversations he has with Love, all of them are important and fit the characters and setting.

The setting of Bed-Stuy is fully realized as well, showcasing a community of diverse people with different motivations, pasts, potential futures, problems, jobs, and lifestyles. I really felt like I was experiencing the streets, restaurants, noises, and hilariously frightening cab drives right along with Matt.

The Boy in the Black Suit is an excellent look at the process of grief and the importance of community.
Profile Image for Kristen.
1,853 reviews30 followers
January 7, 2018
I was a LITTLE disappointed in this one...mostly because of how much I loved Jason Reynolds' When I Was the Greatest. Like Ali, Matt is an African American teen in a rough neighborhood who does his best to make good choices, but this narrative just doesn't have the same punch that Ali's did.

There's not as much character interaction--much of the narrative is just Matt's internal thoughts--and the most interesting interactions are those he has with Lovey, who doesn't appear until halfway through the book.

I think my students are going to have trouble relating to Matt's fascination with funerals after his mother's death--it's a deep issue and the roots aren't really explored here since our narrator is a teenager--and the slower pacing is going to be somewhat of a turn off. They'll probably like the coincidental connection between Matt and Lovey at the end, but I thought it was a stretch.
Profile Image for mytaakeonit.
218 reviews39 followers
February 6, 2017
All hail, Jason Reynolds! The man can write no wrong. I loved this book. It's a perfect mixture of grief and hope and humor. Reynolds writes in a way that is gut-wrenching, yet beautiful. Go read everything with his name on it. No really, go right now!
Profile Image for Cole.
25 reviews
January 4, 2019
This was a good book. I don't think I would go any higher to say I think is an amazing book but it certainly deserves good. This book took me a long time to finish and I think that is partly because I have nothing to relate to the main character. I am a white male living with my family in rural Maine. He is a black male living alone in urban Brooklyn, New York. I can walk down the street with not a thought about getting shot, he, however, its always a possibility.

This book was about a black teen living alone in New York. His mother died just a little before the book starts. His mom has died and it is leading his dad to drink. He came home drunk for many days. One day his gets hit by a car and it throws him into a downhill spiral. After living in the dump for a little while his life hits an up. He meets a girl named Love. They hit it off and then his life keeps going up.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,280 reviews1,655 followers
June 10, 2016
After loving Jason Reynolds’ When I Was the Greatest, I had big expectations for The Boy in the Black Suit, which it lived up to admirably.

My favorite thing about Reynolds’ books, I think, is how understated they are. There are dramatic things going on, for sure, but they’re not handled like melodrama. It all just feels real. He’s not playing things up for extra intensity or whatever, but just letting them be real, and letting the characters react to that.

Matt Miller’s a bit of a quiet type, and I thought he made for a really interesting MC, because he’s just very not the sort of kid who usually gets a book. He’s not an outsider, but he doesn’t quite fit in. He’s smart, but not to an incredible degree. He’s not absurdly attractive. Matt’s just this regular kid dealing with his mom’s death.

The burgeoning romance between Matt and Love is super duper cute, in a real life kind of way, which means it’s awkward and weird much of the time. I like, though, that other people don’t always get why they work, but it works for them so they don’t care. It’s not something you see much in YA, because everyone’s so gorgeous that like obvi they’re perfect for each other.

Reynolds does a great job with the characters and their interactions all around, and I did really get hit with some family feels in this one. Highly recommend to people who enjoy atypical contemporary novels.
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,102 reviews132 followers
November 22, 2014
I hadn't heard anything about this book before it showed up at my house one day. It sounded interesting (and you know how I love books about grief) and so I planned to slip it very high up the TBR pile. I mention that so you know that this book quickly became an anticipated read of mine and also to let you know that this book completely caught me off guard.

Like Matt, I lost a parent in high school and I absolutely agree with him that at that age, your grief isolates you. You don't know anyone else who's lost a parent (and there's no guarantee that they've even lost a grandparent). I didn't start crashing funerals but I can absolutely get the idea that you see people who are experiencing the same loss you've had and it...well, it doesn't really help but it does make you feel less alone.

I love the characters in this book---Matt and his best friend Chris and his boss Mr. Ray but especially Lovey. Lovey is wonderful and I hope there's a sequel.

I absolutely adore this book. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Lekeisha The Booknerd.
936 reviews107 followers
September 7, 2015
Read Full Review

Matt is a character that I truly love and respect. Despite his grief, he manages to take care of himself and his dad. He still has moments when he can’t shake the pain of his mother’s death but he deals the best way that he can. Meeting Lovey was the best thing that could happen to him. When you find that person who has been through worse hell than you have, and they seem to be doing just fine, you want to get to that point. Though, making yourself tough to hide the pain is just like a walking straight through the doors of depression. It’s a process, you can’t bottle that up and keep it inside. Lovey shows Matt that it’s all smoke and mirrors when dealing with hard stuff in life. You can grieve, but just don’t let it take over your life. She was so good for him and I found their connection beautiful.
Profile Image for LaGaryce.
210 reviews18 followers
September 7, 2017
How I struggled to finish this! It kind of always felt like nothing was really happening. Would not recommend.
Profile Image for Kenzie.
321 reviews19 followers
August 14, 2022
Jason Reynolds is a huge inspiration to me in all ways, but I really appreciate how he writes about such big, hard topics in such an accessible way. This is a book about grief, but I think ANY teenager can find something to relate to— trying to find someone who understands you, navigating friendships and crushes, dealing with hard family dynamics… it’s all here & it’s all really well done.
Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews377 followers
July 27, 2018
Loved this. Jason Reynolds is definitely becoming one of my favourite authors.
Profile Image for Anna K.
36 reviews2 followers
March 8, 2017
Technically 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding down because it seems a let down from Jason Reynolds's other book - Ghost. I realize it's not fair to compare books, but I'm doing it anyway.

The Boy in the Black Suit is overall very intriguing. The pace is fairly slow, but I didn't feel like it ever dragged, just made way for more literary elements and character growth. The story takes place in Brooklyn, after our main character's mother has died, and the story examines the different ways that people grieve. Overall, very great.


I feel the symbolism was a bit strong handed. This may have been due to the narrator of the audiobook- he took incredibly long pauses between sentences that may have exacerbated this, but I felt like the symbolism was slapping me in the face, without letting me enjoy the story.
The plot relied heavily on setting at points, but I didn't feel the same community, the same atmosphere as in Ghost. I realize this may be due to audience age differences, but it's not that I was necessarily expecting the same world and mood, so much as I was expecting a similar treatment. Instead, I got a book that kind of skimmed over setting and background characters.
While some elements came full circle, the ending was unsatisfactory with some big plot points unresolved. We don't get a lot of information on Matt's dad, and I felt like that was a crucial relationship I wanted developed.
Profile Image for Dorian Jandreau.
Author 20 books70 followers
March 4, 2018
Keista, kad įsigijau šitą knygą du mėnesiai iki brangiausio žmogaus netekties... ir gerai, kad ją perskaičiau tik dabar kai emocijos jau nebe tokios aštrios, nes šitoje knygoje susitapatinau su pagrindiniu veikėju Matju. Jaunas vaikinas vos prieš kelias dienas netekęs mamos... ir todėl lengvai įsijaučiau į šitą knygą. Nors iš pradžių man ji skaitėsi sunkiai, atrodė nuobodoka, bet vėliau ledai pajudėjo ir atsivėrė įdomioji knygos pusė. Skausmas, liūdesys ir sielvartas pamažu peraugęs į laimę, džiaugsmą ir meilę. Kaip pats autorius paaiškino savo knygos prasmę: gyvenimas kaip kortų žaidimas, kartais laimi, kartais praloši, bet jis niekada nėra suplanuotas. Visada atsitinka kas nors ko nelaukei ir neplanavai.

Keista, kaip žmogus, buvęs tavo kasdieninio gyvenimo dalimi, staiga dingsta. Tada supranti, kad kartu su juo išeina ir kai kurie kasdieniai dalykai.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,473 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.