Dec 16, 2013

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga (Autumn Taboo Review)

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contemporary, realistic fiction


Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.
Five years ago, Josh’s life changed.
And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand.
But they don’t—they can’t.
And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces.
First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago.
She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.
Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up,
and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.
And then there’s Eve. 
Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past.
It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.
If only he knew what the truth was . . .



"I was molested. When I was twelwe.
And everyone in the world knew it except for me."

I am left speechless.
This story is real and unforgettable.
It isn't a story about the forbidden teacher/student love that many fantisize about, this story is the realism behind what actually goes into the waters of female teacher to male student molestation, down the path of paedophilia.
Writing is so realistic that sometimes I had a feeling that I was in the room with Mrs. Sherman and Josh.

This is the story of seduction and the life afterwards told by Josh Mendel,
the victim who takes full responsibility for what an adult did to him when he was twelve years old.
As a 12 year old boy he, like the every other boy in his class, had a crush on his history teacher,
Mrs Evelyn Sherman a.k.a. Eve.
Soon, he was sucked into a very adult and inappropriate relationship with her.
The truth emerges when Josh attends a birthday party for one of his friends, Rachel,
and a game of spin the bottle gets out of hand...
Five years later, he´s a high school graduate without ever having a normal, healthy relationship,
especially not one with a girl his own age.
He is angry and hostile, and he fights his own inner feelings about Eve,
even while battling a growing attraction with a Rachel, his old friend who revealed his affair long time ago...

Although he´s some kind of sport and math genius, Josh is traumatized and he feels permanently damaged.
His family is dysfunctional and he gots these flickers from the past all the time:

"-there, yes, THERE-
-God oh God oh God-
-stop teasing me, you naughty...oh God yesss-"

 "Lying there, I´ve figured out what the flickers are.
 They´re my punishment.
 It´s no coincidence that they started that day that I stood in Eve´s bedroom,
 taking my first stepstoward her, toward my sin, my downfall.
 The flickers are my past, constantly reignited, hammering at me from below and beneath and behind."

 Was it an excellent book? Unquestionably!
 Why I gave it 4 (4,5) stars? Because it was too much baseball stuff in it.

My favorite quote:

"See, forgiveness doesn´t happen all at once.
It´s not an event- it´s a process.
Forgiveness happens while you´re asleep, while you´re dreaming, while you´re in line at the coffee shop, while you´re showering, eating, farting, jerking off.
It happens in the back of your mind, and then one day you realize that you don´t hate the person anymore, that your anger has gone away somewhere.
And you understand. You´ve forgiven them.
You don´t know how or why. It sneaked up on you. It happened in the small spaces between thoughts and in the seconds between ideas and blinks.
That´s where forgiveness happens.
Because anger and hatred, when left unfed, bleed away like air from a punctured tire, over time and days and years.
Forgiveness is stealth.
At least, that´s what I hope."

Until next time,
stay naughty...

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