Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ARC Review: Boo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23012503-booTitle: Boo
Author: Neil Smith
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Source: Goodreads First Reads Program
From Neil Smith, author of the award-winning, internationally acclaimed story collection Bang Crunch, comes a dark but whimsical debut novel about starting over in the afterlife in the vein of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones.

When Oliver 'Boo' Dalrymple wakes up in heaven, the eighth-grade science geek thinks he died of a heart defect at his school. But soon after arriving in this hereafter reserved for dead thirteen-year-olds, Boo discovers he’s a 'gommer', a kid who was murdered. What’s more, his killer may also be in heaven. With help from the volatile Johnny, a classmate killed at the same school, Boo sets out to track down the mysterious Gunboy who cut short both their lives.

In a heartrending story written to his beloved parents, the odd but endearing Boo relates his astonishing heavenly adventures as he tests the limits of friendship, learns about forgiveness and, finally, makes peace with the boy he once was and the boy he can now be.

My Review

When I saw that I had won a galley of Boo by Neil Smith, I was excited. I haven't read his collection of short stories, but I love discovering new authors. I was excited to be introduced to a new-to-me-author. Plus the plot seemed original and intriguing. Wouldn't it be cool to imagine what your afterlife would be like? Unfortunately, Boo did not work out for me, and I sadly had to DNF it for my sanity.

Boo definitely isn't your average thirteen-year-old. He's extremely smart, but he lacks friends at school. I felt like I could have connected with him as I was very smart, but I just didn't feel that connection. The other characters didn't stand out to me either, and by the time that I got about 25% in, I knew it would be best for me to call it a day with this book.

The concept of being conscious in an afterlife is certainly interesting, and I thought that I'd really be able to get a four star review out of this one, but the writing ruined it for me. Oliver 'Boo' Dalrymple is writing to his still alive parents about his experiences in Town, a place in heaven for all of the thirteen-year-olds who have passed on. I just didn't connect with Boo or the writing style. It's just boring. I kid you not... I almost fell asleep while reading this one.

I might hold on to this one and try to read it again in the near future, but for now, I wouldn't recommend this book.


  1. I haven't heard of this one before. Stinks it was added to the DNF pile. Unfortunately that happens sometimes.

  2. I hadn't heard of it until I saw the giveaway on Goodreads. Unfortunately, I've had quite a few books go to the DNF pile lately. :(

  3. Aww man. It sounds so interesting. Oh well.

  4. It definitely had an interesting premise. I think what got to me was the writing. It just felt awkward and forced.


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