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Boys of Alabama

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,016 ratings  ·  235 reviews
In this bewitching debut novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don’t know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his inne ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by Liveright
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Matthew I don't think this is a YA book. It's not priced as YA, and it's not marked anywhere as YA. The characters are young adults, yes, but that doesn't mea…moreI don't think this is a YA book. It's not priced as YA, and it's not marked anywhere as YA. The characters are young adults, yes, but that doesn't mean the book is intended for people their age. In other words, I'd argue that all these people who have tagged it 'young-adult' are conflating 'characters' with 'audience.'(less)

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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,016 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbtq, arc, lgbtqia
I loved this book! But......this is a tough book to review. Why?

First, it's a unique blend of a paranormal, a coming of age, and a cultural exchange book.

It sets our protagonist from Germany in a small town in Alabama. Back in Germany, he was nothing special, but here as a student in an Evangelical Christian school, he is very popular. Taken in by the football boys, he begins a stereotypical American teen high school indoctrination: parties. Different from other typical tales is the strong evang
Apr 29, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what was worse, the horrendous attempt at writing a German protagonist moving to Alabama who is apparently fluent in English but would then go around saying sentences like "I will like you to come over. please yes." (like, girl, you could have at least TRIED to research common mistakes Germans make when learning a foreign language instead of making up shit like "sex butterfly") or the fact that there was an actual rape scene in this and no one thought to mention that. "Exploring you ...more
Larry H
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, Genevieve Hudson's Boys of Alabama definitely made me think!

Max and his family move from Germany to small-town Delilah, Alabama. It’s a far cry from what they’re used to, but Max is quickly enamored by the oppressive heat and humidity, the easy camaraderie he finds with his football teammates, and the area’s obsession with God and religion.

But Max has secrets, too. He had a relationship in Germany that scarred him, and he has a strange ability that both obsesses and frightens him. When
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, paranormal, ya, teen
ARC Generously provided by Netgalley

I finished this book a few days ago, this book had me thinking days after finishing yet still not an easy one to review. Writing style was unique, at the start a bit of an adjustment (no punctuation or quotation) and it took me a bit to get into but once it picked up I could not put it down.

Max , a teen moves to Alabama from Germany, he feels the cultural changes, language difficulties, figuring out where he fits in socially, and exploring his sexuality. Ther
May 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
***edit: There are trigger warnings at the bottom of this review! I think you can enjoy this book if you are prepared for the dark themes.

I don't know what I thought I was getting into, but it definitely was not that.

This is a weird book to review, because so much is happening, and points aren't dwelled on for long. I feel like this book traumatized me, and not in any sort of cathartic way. It was written well, sure. But the characters just kept escalating the situation, and there was no cathars
T Madden
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Phew. Obsessed with this novel and all things Genevieve Hudson. BOYS OF ALABAMA is a shapeshifting story of queer witchy love in the American deep south. This book is creeping vines and verdant desire. It’s a study of belief systems both true and terrifying. Hudson dismantles and spins a new category of fairy tale for us, one that’s equal parts dirt and splendor; a glinting, dark beauty; an incantation. This will surprise you at every turn, destroy you by its end, and make you believe in magic. ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: woman-authored, lgbt
"Boys of Alabama" is a unique take on Southern Gothic; Genevieve Hudson uses her debut novel to rewrite and queer the rules of a classic genre of American literature.

Max and his family have recently relocated to Alabama from their home in Germany. On top of the task of learning English, with a Southern twang, Max struggles to understand and control this odd power he possesses: anything he touches that has died is suddenly brought back to life. Combine these powers with his new burgeoning queer d
Paris (parisperusing)
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstandingly original. Unlike anything you’ll ever read today.

May 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
I so wanted to love BOYS OF ALABAMA by Genevieve Hudson, but it just wasn't the book for me. I was completely intrigued by the premise of a high school teenage boy moving from the cosmopolitan Germany to a small town in Alabama, and how he integrates himself into the football scene while, at the same time, coming to terms with his sexuality and grieving a best friend he left behind. It has all the makings of a wonderful novel that is right up my alley, but I just couldn't fully get into the stor ...more
The Nerd Daily
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray

Genevieve Hudson’s debut novel, Boys of Alabama, beautifully weaves together an authentic picture of the American South with a coming-of-age of story involving two characters who absolutely capture the reader’s heart.

Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished BOYS OF ALABAMA after a weekend in the sun and this book is seriously stunning.

BOYS OF ALABAMA follows Max, who moves from Germany to Alabama for his dad’s job. He starts playing football, campaigns for a conservative Judge running for Governor, and builds an intimate relationship with Pan, the town “witch.” There’s magical realism, there’s queerness and desire, there’s shame and religion, questions of faith and of history. I loved this book. The writing is intriguing and gorgeous. Th
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2020
What a strange and wild and bold one this was! Southern noir meets coming of age meets melancholic satire meets I don't know what. I hope it gets the attention it deserves. ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Gracious, this book is a mess. As someone who enjoys literature of all stripes, is the parent of a teen and a young adult, volunteers with youth and works with college students, I read a fair amount of YA fiction. I have never enjoyed a book in the genre less than this one. There is a gruesomeness and brutality to it that remain absolutely unresolved at the end of the novel.

So many of the characters are one-dimensional straw men, including the State of Alabama itself. Why the setting about whic
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from the publisher, opinions are my own. [very mild spoilers ahead]

I've been a big fan of Genevieve Hudson's writing for a while. PRETEND WE LIVE HERE is one of my all-time favorite books, as is A LITTLE IN LOVE WITH EVERYONE, and I usually make a point to track down her stories in lit mags because there's something about the style and imagery in her work that just vines around my heart and linguistic soul and blooms flowers in my chest.

BOYS OF ALABAMA does this too. It is bot
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some reading experiences feel like a revelation, and that's exactly what reading Boys of Alabama was. I had high hopes for it, but honestly I didn't know exactly what to expect. What I got was a story I felt in my gut, that dug under my skin, rather than just "having read." If I had to compare it to something, I'd compare it to Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones, both in its deft understanding of adolescent hunger and its expert, gritty representation of the American South that is both a critique a ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Just a heads up since there isn't a content/trigger warning: this book does include a rape scene and references to severe child abuse. I didn't feel it was super graphic, however, and these sections are short. ...more
Verónica Fleitas Solich
I couldn't connect with the characters or the story.
I reached the end and nothing.
I really wanted to like it.
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was incredibly well written. The prose was absolutely beautiful. Helming from Alabama, I really appreciated how well she captured this place can feel sometimes. Reading in depth about how religion and football truly do run things for some people in this state was mildly difficult for me sometimes. I was also sent back to the uncomfortable mindset of growing up here as a boy who didn’t play football.

I loved what the author did with relationships in this book. How fickle love and friend
Aug 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbtq, fiction
This book is one good idea stretched to its absolute limit, filled with terrible similes and worthless descriptions of every Southern gothic setting imaginable. I was intrigued by this book because it is set in my home state, written by a fellow Alabamian, and had fantastical elements: three things I thought could lead to an interesting read. Instead, what I received was cliché after cliché, one-dimensional characters, and absolutely no plot development.

The author played into every backwoods Ala
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
this not the best I guess
the reason this got a 2.5 is the writing style. i loved it. BUT. the rest.
lost me at about 50% if not earlier
I'm really sad I didn't enjoy this book :(
the cover is pretty by the way ❤
Audra (ouija.reads)
This is a weird and wonderful novel.

It features Max, a Queer teen who is not only exploring and trying to understand his sexuality, but he is doing so as a recent transplant from Germany to Alabama. There are a lot of layers there: he is trying to navigate culture shock, language barriers, grief and personal history, the extremes of religion, where he fits in at school—and he has a secret, strange power.

I listened to the audiobook of this one, and I found myself sinking deep into the lush prose
Beth M.
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is another book that is joining my collection of favorite reads this year! ❤️ Y’all! I couldn’t put this one down. Seriously. Can’t believe this is Hudson’s first novel!

Boys of Alabama beautifully weaves together an authentic picture of the American south with a coming of age of story involving two characters who will absolutely capture your heart. Max has just moved to Alabama from Germany and like any high schooler he wants to fit in. He leans into the local culture of football, fried foo
Boys of Alabama is a well-written , poignant, relevant and realistic told story.

My husband is from a small town in Alabama . While reading Boys of Alabama , I pictured that town and some of the inhabitants as the perfect setting for this story.

I just reviewed Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson. #BoysofAlabama #NetGalley
May 31, 2020 marked it as dropped
Shelves: qaify
Dropped at 8%. I can't do it. This book has no quotation marks for dialogue and has already had quite a bit of dialogue in the short amount I've read. I have no desire to spend the entire book trying to sort out which parts are being spoken and which parts aren't when this all could have been solved with proper punctuation. Reading an extended conversation that had non-dialogue bits thrown in throughout it was frustrating. The lack of quotation marks is just incredibly distracting. The only way ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, arcs, 2020
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story was so strange and intriguing, I still don't really know what to think of it because it's so unique.

The novel follows a teenage boy, Max, who has moved from Berlin to Alabama. Max has the secret power of being able to heal animals and bring them back from the dead, however, Max views this power as a curse. The story follows Max's experience moving to Southern USA, his friendship with a witch at his school
"I love how en vogue dead bodies are around here." -Boys of Alabama, by Genevieve Hudson

This book was my introduction to Genevieve Hudson. The writing and technique were fine but I just did not click with the characters. None of them. I did not understand Max, I did not agree with him on most of his opinions and choices. This story was not enjoyable to me. The beginning of Part 3 got exciting with the ghosts, paranormal, the visiting of the haunted asylum, but it was short-lived.

The story had a
zac carter
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this is great writing. boys of alabama is a strange, fascinating, and absorbing book. maybe i don’t know everything it tries to say, but i think that’s part of its appeal. there are many layers to consider, brief interpersonal interactions that are full and rich, moments of confusion and shame and hunger that feel like familiar elements of adolescence. i don’t think the intersections of masculinity, religion, queerness, conservatism, and immigration are looked at enough. oh and there’s some supe ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A weird but great read. First off, there's no dialogue punctuation; no quotation marks when someone is speaking, and the monologue is written a little weird. I was thrown off at first but once I realized what was going on it was easy to understand. I honestly loved the contrast of cultures and how bizarre the rural south of the united states is to other people who don't live there. ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

TW: death, brainwashing, rape, homophobia, internalized and not, poisoning, violence towards people and animals

I was really excited to read this book and so happy my wish came true! Boys of Alabama is a very intense novel, a coming-of-age story.
Max's family moved from Germany to Alabama for his father's job and the sixteen years old boy has to adapt to the life here. It was interesting reading about how, slowly because of the l
Aaron Marsh
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-books
Can we please please please stop doing this annoying trend in literary fiction where we do, like, a touch of magical realism? Often I feel like it is shoehorned into otherwise totally realist fiction, and that it is a clumsy, cheap way to Highlight The Themes. The fantastic needs to grow out of the characters, the reality of the situation. With this book, I would have honestly loved to have read the version of this story that was about queer, outsidery kids moving through these hyper-masculine a ...more
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Pan and Max SPOILERS!!!!!! 5 13 Jun 27, 2020 05:37PM  

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Let's face it, this year's class of first-time authors is seeing its debut novels launch into a world much different from what anyone in the...
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“I’m talking, said Pan. Mind be still. Quiet your Ping-Pong balls.” 1 likes
“Max’s mother hated the word sure. She said it lacked commitment.” 0 likes
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