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Different for Boys by Patrick Ness - Review

Thursday, July 20, 2023

I was excited for this novella so requested it on Netgalley and am glad I finally got to it! It's a good little story, I would recommend it for fans of Patrick Ness. The formatting of the Netgalley version wasn't perfect, meaning that I couldn't see all the illustrations properly, which I'm sad about, but they looked beautiful. I know my friend Chloe has this book and I'm going to hers soon so I'm hoping to look at the pictures then!

So this book is very meta, and it breaks the fourth wall. The characters know that they are in a book, they mention it a few times. Also, all the sexually explicit stuff and 'bad' words are hidden behind black boxes, and the characters know that. For instance, one says something like "Oh look, you can't say ___ in this book!" I like this, I really liked how meta this story was. 

So Ant is sixteen and at the beginning of the school year his teacher, Mr Bacon, has decided to put kids in groups of four. Ant and his best friend, Charlie, are put together, and then Freddie turns up. He used to go to the same school but he's been somewhere else, but now he's back! And he's got tall and big! So is Ant, so Freddie suggests that he tries out for the rugby team alongside Freddie. Charlie says that they play soccer, though, and won't hear of Ant playing rugby. 

Then Jack turns up too. Jack is quite camp, so Charlie bullies him for being gay. He did have a girlfriend for the whole of last year, though... Plus, actually, Charlie and Ant hook up any time they're together. Ant is wondering exactly when he lost his virginity - cue lots of information hidden behind boxes. Was it when they did ____? Or when they ______? When does it count? Is it different for boys?

I'm giving this five out of five as I really liked the story - I just wish it had been longer!

Different for Boys was published by Walker Books on the 2nd of March 2023. I was granted an electronic copy of this book for review purposes only. I was not otherwise compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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