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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Flypaper Boy: Coming of Age by Philip Carroll | Book Review

Flypaper Boy is someone you'll grow to love. He's a great character that was really fun to root for as the story unfolded. I know, it sounds like he's a superhero with cheesy powers right? And he is, at first. As you read this, as titled, coming of age story it stretches out with the character into much more than you might be expecting from this book. I'm not going to give anything away in this review, but the story grows with the protagonist and reaches out into some very cool places.

I have a soft spot for coming of age books. They tend to be my favorite. I think that's because in a good book the main character goes through a big change and what change suits a life more than transitioning from a kid to an adult? Right off the bat you start with a great hook. Here's the opening line:
Jimmy lay in a car, probably in the trunk, his head resting against what felt like the wheel well, and his arms secured behind him.
The author Philip Carroll wastes no time easing you into the story world but instead leads with the inciting incident flinging you into action right as the story begins. You get some great breathing time after that as the character deals with his new and strange environment. The back story is sprinkled through so you get to know more about Jimmy as you see him begin to learn new things and grow as a person. You're not sure where the story is going to go and it seems like the protagonist is going to be stuck in his new home forever, then everything changes. As you're launched into act two you discover a whole new world with the main character. I don't want to give it away but if you look at the cover art, which I created by the way, there are clues. Jimmy makes new friends and some pretty bad enemies.

I was really engaged during the action scenes in this book and there were many. They became more fun and intense as Jimmy learns how to use his powers. The relationships between the characters were very important in this book too. It does a good job dealing with teenage love with the hormones and feelings teens have treated realistically and yet there are no inappropriate scenes. It doesn't ignore the tension felt between the male and female characters and there are some intimate scenes but never more than kissing. I appreciated that and it makes this book that much more appealing for parents to get this book for their kids. This was a great book for me, a guy in his early 30s, and it will be a great book for teenagers too. The main character goes through a lot of the stuff they're going through and if they're like me when I was a teenager the fact that this book has a character with super powers will really draw them in. Most dads like super heroes so they'll like it too just as I did.

There were a lot of characters in this book and I loved them all. In the case of the bad guys I loved to hate them. I liked how this book about teenagers was not void of adults. There were a lot of adult characters too and while most weren't main characters they still played a critical role in the life of the protagonist. I appreciated that too and I think most parents will be happy to read a story that is all about the teens but the adults aren't bumbling idiots who get in the way. More like real life they're there to offer help and advice when the teens are dealing with stuff. Grab this book for yourself and then buy a copy for a teenager you know. You and they will really dig it. I know I did.

Get the book at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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