Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

published by:  Egmont USA
publish date:  January 21, 2014

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay--help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores--Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life. 

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality. 

Harry Jones begins telling the about how he was terribly scarred as a child.  The scars cause him to be ostracized throughout his childhood.  Despite constant support from his parents and therapists, it isn't until he meets Johnny late in middle school that his life begins to turn around.  Johnny accepts him as he is and Harry starts to become more emboldened.  Johnny and Harry start because it seems like a good way to be "cool" in high school and by their senior year, they're really good.  

The Scar Boys was awesomely good.  I really like male perspective YA.  Harry had a great story to tell and it was told in a fresh way.  I liked the idea of a college admissions essay.  What YA reader doesn't have experience with that?  

I would definitely recommend this one, especially to male readers.  I think this one would appeal to some of the reluctant readers out there too, not wanting to deal with school, the people at school, going to school, just wanting to play music and party all day.  There are "rock star" books out there.  

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