- File Size: 775 KB
- Print Length: 269 pages
- Publication Date: December 25, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HJEH2A6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,099 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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The Only Boy Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I was told about this book by a friend of mine, Jude from Platypire Reviews. She was excited to read it and practically bullied me into signing up to read it. I guess I should be mad at her because the book wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. It was a good story, but it wasn't near where I thought it should be. The story had so much potential but it left me confused most of the time. There were things that they knew about but yet other things they didn't. There was electricity at some places but not everywhere. Also, they had gas for vehicles but no mention on how they got it. I really would have liked to give this book a higher rating than a 3, but I couldn't get past the confusion and lack of detail with regards to some of these things.
Mary has never seen a boy. Living in a former hospital now named Sector One, she and other women follow the strict rules of the Matriarch. Every book has had the pictures of the men cut out or marked out. If the women break a rule, then they are thrown into the pit......left in a dark and depressing cage with limited water for the duration of their sentence. Some of the rules are outright depressing:
Rule #8 - Touching is punishable with up to two weeks in imprisonment. To avoid accidental contact, maintain a distance of eighteen inches at all times.
Rule #17 - All property belongs to the community. Any item, no matter how insignificant, must be brought to the Matriarch and will be distributed according to need. Failure to do so may result in a weeks confinement.
Rule #30 - An upset child is not an excuse to pick them up or coddle them. If left alone, they will eventually stop crying.
Mary is a very curious girl and always questions life before the 'cleansing'. But the Matriarch doesn't allow the women to have that knowledge. The Matriarch has also made it clear that men are not needed. They are able to provide for themselves and protect themselves. And with the babies basically created in a test tube, men are not even needed to reproduce.
Taylor has a secret - he is a boy - and after coming to live in Sector One after his sector is destroyed, he has to pretend to be a girl or he will be killed or exiled. He resorts to wearing baggy clothing, keeping his hair long and hiding razors to shave. After he meets Mary and they have an instant connection, they both risk everything by breaking the rules and running away from Sector One and this is where the real action begins.
The story is told from two point of views, Mary and Taylor, which shift back and forth between the two throughout the story. This really works out well, as the reader knows exactly whose perspective we are reading about at the time. This was a very interesting and unique dystopian story that was both thought provoking and engrossing. It was well written and the story flowed effortlessly. If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.
I will admit I took to loving the character of Taylor--the only boy displaced from his compound after it is destroyed--quite quickly. He is fully formed and has a myriad of qualities one can admire. Mary is the vehicle through which I truly felt the romance aspect. She embodies the typical teenage girl who wishes to impress the boy she loves even though they live in an atypical world. This lends the novel a universality that my students would definitely appreciate.
What is most impressive is Locke's ability to accurately write both female and male points of view. Since this is dual POV, the reader might expect Locke to err more on the side of the female or male voice. However, she does both Mary and Taylor justice regarding their characterization and dialogue. Also to be noted is that fact that Locke does not wait to incorporate the dual POV chapter by chapter. Some would rather it was done that way, yet I feel if it's time to switch, do it. Don't waste valuable words when you could be using them to tell the story. Just my opinion though.
The world-building in this novel is impeccable. The rules are clearly explained through the use of showing in the current time frame and Mary's past. Though Locke does include rules enforced by the Matriarch--quick aside here to say what a pain in the butt that evil woman is...HATE her and her spawn--they serve to propel the plot forward, not hinder its advancement. Every time the characters move within this world, I can picture the buildings, abandoned schools, etc. The landscape is vivid without causing the reader to feel as though its been shoved down his/her throat. And the Earthers...man! They could have a novel of their own!! I don't want to give too much away but...
There were some awesome twists I didn't see coming in this novel, and that surprises me the most. I thoroughly enjoyed eating, sleeping, and breathing in this world. Rest assured, Jordan Locke, you have a lifelong fan in this reader.