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Review: iBoy (Kevin Brooks)

Title: iBoy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Genre: YA science fiction
Pages: 288
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (and I almost made it a 5)
Challenges: POC
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Before the attack, Harvey was just an average teenager. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualize App. Fragnmetns of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they're having an extraordinary effect on his every thought. Because now Tom knows, see, and can do more than any normal boy ever could. But with his new powers comes a choice: to avenge Lucy, the girl he loves, will he hunt down the vicious gangsters who hurt her? Will he take the law into his own electric hands and exterminate them from the South London housing projects where, by fear and violence, they rule? Not even his mental search engine can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy's actions.

Review: Wow. What more can I say? I just finished this book in one day and it really has me thinking. This is the type of book that has so much going on that I can't really write my review in coherent paragraphs, but just want to get all the thoughts out quickly in bullets so that I don't forget anything.

  • Characters--Tom Harvey is a great main character. He is empathic, nice, and normal. However, he gains these extraordinary powers through the iPhone accident and, though he he can do crazy sh*t, he somehow remains "normal" in the eyes of the reader. I think he represents how we'd all feel given the situations he is experiencing. The nasty characters are just so awful I wanted them to be made up by Brooks and not really possible in real life. Unfortunately, the author also made them "normal" in that people like them do exist. People who have no empathy, do not see the bad in stealing, hurting others, etc.
  • Plot--While this is science fiction and, I assume, one cannot really become iBoy, I didn't feel as if I was reading something out of control fantastical. Most of the events that surround iBoy are frighteningly real and possible. I don't want to say what they are because it will ruin the story for you, but Brooks did an amazing job at describing the horrible events and how they affected those involved, even if on the periphery. Brooks managed to make every scene very real and raw, sometimes leaving much of the scene to the imagination, which is very powerful.
  • Emotions--This is where Brooks excelled. I felt so drawn in to the characters and their emotions from fear and anger to despair and hope. It was all so raw and real. I could completely understand how Tom Harvey felt when his friend is hurt and how much he wanted revenge on the suspects. I also felt Lucy's pain in an extremely real way.

Geography Connection

Click to see my updated Google Map. If I couldn't live where I do, I'd live in London and that's the setting of this book. Actually, the location doesn't really matter since almost the entire thing takes part in the housing projects where the characters live. But still, in the back of my mind I knew they were in London and that's what mattered.

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