Thursday, January 24, 2008

Boy Toy

Lyga, Barry. 2007. BOY TOY. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780618723935 [Suggested Grade Levels 10-12]

Through a series of flashbacks which he calls “flickers,” senior Josh Mendel reveals a very painful past. As a thirteen year old, Josh is systematically seduced by his teacher, appropriately named Eve Sherman. Josh thinks he is in love with Eve, not realizing that she has manipulated him. When the affair is discovered, Josh refuses to testify against his teacher although she confesses to spare him. For five years, he carries the burden of guilt and blame and avoids relationships with the opposite sex including Rachel, his middle school crush. When Eve is released from prison, Josh cannot function until he confronts his former teacher. Only then does Josh realize that he was the victim of a well crafted plot to steal his innocence.

In this powerfully written novel, Barry Lyga steals from the headlines creating well-defined characters and crafting a haunting, but unforgettable story. The reader is both repulsed and captivated as Eve weaves her web of entrapment and is heartened when Josh finally forgives himself at the end.

Due to the highly sexual nature of this book, it would be well-advised to be used by those who have had training in bibliotherapy.

More YA novels about teens coping with sexual situations:
Lynch, Chris. SINS OF THE FATHERS. ISBN 006074037X
Wiess, Laura. SUCH A PRETTY GIRL. ISBN 1416521836

By Donna Woody

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