Just finished the book in 3 hours of solid reading, I got far too into it to stop! Had to come straight on here to recommend the book to all! This is one of those books that will stick with you forever.
Without wanting to give too much away, Dante has a baby dumped on him, his daughter he didn't know existed. I thought the book was going to solely revolve around that, which I wouldn't have minded, but it turned out to be so so much more. I won't spoil it for you but I must demand you read this book!!!
Dante's life is all lined up. His A Level results are about to arrive in the post any moment and then he'll be off to university.
Except, when he opens the door it's not the postman. It's his ex girlfriend Melanie with a baby. His baby. When Melanie disappears leaving Dante with the baby, he and his father and brother are drawn together in order to raise his daughter Emma.
As with many Malorie Blackman novels, this is told in alternating point of view chapters, split between Dante and his brother, Adam. Alongside the main plot of Dante learning to be a father is Adam exploring his sexuality and finding himself in an unsafe relationship.
This is a great novel that explores toxic masculinity and how societal ideals of masculinity and patriarchy couple together resulting in an inability to share feelings in men. Much of the situations presented in the novel are combatted by characters opening up and sharing their emotions, but it is a fraught, tense and emotional book. I read it in just a few hours, as it was near impossible to put down.
There is no one word that can describe just how good of a read Boys Don't Cry is. This book is one of the few that should be read by every teenage boy in the world - it's packed with life's lessons and I'm sure I'm not the only one who says that this book is a thought-provoking and a reflective read.
When Dante Bridgeman finds the biggest surprise in his life lying in a baby buggy, to say that his life is turned upside down is an understatement. Suddenly, he is no longer a typical student waiting for his A level results and university, but a single father to an eleven-month baby, Emma. With his ex-girlfriend and the baby's mother Melanie suddenly MIA, he finds his future veering dangerously towards the unknown. The changes in Dante's life - every minute details - is well described and highlighted. I'm familiar with the difficulty of babysitting, but not quite with the difficulty of single parenting. Dante's narration is vivid and so real it's almost like a first hand account. Nothing quite gets to you than the voice of someone who has really been there - I got that from Dante. His sacrifices opens the reader's eyes to the reality of being a parent - single, teenage or otherwise. His concerns starts from the basic (what about university? How do I stop her from crying?) and evolves to the bigger (will I be a good father? How will I provide for Emma?) questions. I am a lot like Dante in situation (A level results, university...) but it is his questions that makes him so normal, so average. That, more than anything, makes Dante real. His actions, his thoughts and his words show his flaws, but it also channels his growth as a person, as a brother, as a son and as a father to Emma.
Interspersed with Dante's life changing moments are his brother Adam's. My heart went out to Adam in this book - he's a cheerful lad who is neither ashamed nor afraid of his sexuality. The challenges that face him are not the easiest ones to face nor read. Despite that, he has an indomitable spirit that rises up and faces these challenges head on. Of course, Adam has his share of challenges, but with his family's support never once leaving his side, Adam's strength is clear for all to see. I'm not sure who between him and Emma I find more adorable - but both of them are near top of the list of characters I love hugely.
There are varying sub plots in the book in support of the main plot. These elaborates more on the characters and are very well ingrained with the narrative. Mostly, they are resolved and I am one happy reader with how everything turned out. The secondary characters are involved in these subplots and are also very important as they are foils to and frame the protagonists. Quite simply, I have no complaints! It's my first Malorie Blackman read and I sure will check out more of her works.
Boys Don't Cry is an eye-opener, a complex novel that is one of the few which effectively thrusts the reader into issues that matter most in the big world. It made me cry, it made me think and it made me want to read so much more. I love this!
Boys Don’t Cry is the first book I’ve read by Malorie Blackman, and I loved it, so much so that I read it in two days (and it wasn’t even the weekend).
The story follows the emotional journey of a young aspiring journalist who gets left with a baby he didn’t realise he had, right before he’s about to head off to university. During the novel I felt frustration, pain, heartbreak, love, relief, and many other emotions. It brought me to tears, both from sadness and joy.
It’s hard-hitting, and stunningly written. Every word is believable. I loved that, although Dante’s story dominated the novel, the reader is treated to snippets of Adam’s thoughts dotted throughout the story too.
I don’t think the cover does Boys Don’t Cry much justice, though. This is definitely a case of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
This is the new novel from Malorie Blackman, author of the Noughts and Crosses series. N & C is my favourite YA series ever. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and the most powerful book/series I've read. If you've not read them, I seriously recommend you do. With as much as I loved N & C, I was very excited to read this new book from Malorie. Totally different, but it promised to be another powerful book. It delivered. Boy's Don't Cry is the story of a 17 year old boy, Dante, waiting for his A-level results to come in the post. He's planning on University and a career in journalism after that. But instead of the post, he's confronted with his ex. Who has a baby with her, his baby as it turns out. She asks him to watch her for a few minutes while she pops to the shops around the corner for some basics. Except, she doesn't come back, and Dante is left with this baby who is almost a year old to take care of.
It took all of a couple pages to hook me. Dante's voice, his panic, disbelief and the rest of the vast mixture of emotions, come across sharply as he's faced with this huge life changing fact. He is a dad. Dante lives at home with his dad and younger brother, Adam. His mum died several years before so it's just been the three of them for a long time, struggling to get by. The different relationships between Dante, Adam and their dad are complex and vividly realistic. Just as Dante's struggle to accept his daughter, and his relationship with her, is. The whole family dynamic is changed by the baby and although we don't get to see much of them before the baby as she's introduced in chapter one, it's still obvious that's the case.
Although the focus of the book is on Dante and what being a teen dad is like, the choices and decisions he faces, there is a serious subplot revolving around Adam as well. I won't go in to detail because I don't want to spoil anything, but lets just say that while he may get much less page time (there are some short chapters from his POV as well as Dante's), his story is just as powerful. More so at times actually I felt.
The whole book is just fantastic, extremely hard to put down. It's honest, stark, brutal, beautiful and yes, very powerful as well. I think it should be a must read for teens and adults of both genders. I don't know how many times I cried reading this book but it was several. Sad tears from me while reading is fairly common, happy tears are not. This book had both from me. I went from happy tears straight to sad ones at one point as well. Amazing, heartfelt book. As expected, one of my favourites of the year as well.