Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman

It would do you well not to judge this book by its cover and consider that it should be marketed at, and read by, boys. It is my experience that pink (ANY pink) alienates boys at least until their mid twenties and sometimes forever, but maybe I’m wrong*.

Dante has been waiting on tenterhooks for his A-level results (end of school in England) when his ex-girlfriend rocks up at his front door with an 11-month old baby. Pretty obvious to see where its going, though not to Dante. Little does Dante know he’s about to be left with said baby, his child, derailing university/career/life plans in one fell swoop. What I liked about this book is that Dante doesn’t deal with it very well, though he comes around in the end he’s not perfect and I think its realistic for a 17 year old to not be immediately comfortable with a baby. But Dante copes, and in the end quite well.

Alternating perspective with Dante is his brother Adam whose got his own challenges to overcome. Very comfortably and openly gay, Adam has trouble making his brother and their recently-ish widowed father accept that gay isn’t a ‘passing phase’. When Adam runs into some pretty serious objections to his sexuality (from no less than Dante’s best mate) it’s really all go for the Brigeman men.

All three Brigeman’s go through a steep learning curve in Boys Don’t Cry in different ways and its a solid Young Adult novel that has you wanting to know What Happens Next. Thoroughly enjoyable and covering a lot of ground about growing up, and particularly father-son relationships, great for boys or girls 15 up.

*See also Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood. Great book, good cover, but Why Pink?

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Filed under Young Adult (14+)

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