Phone in hand, I smiled at the text my girl Colette had sent me. My smile didn’t last long though. I was too wound up. Thursday. A level results day! I must admit, I didn’t expect to be quite so nervous. I knew for certain I’d done well. what I mean is, I almost knew for certain.”
Its A level results day and Dante is terrified. He has the next ten years planned out and most of that rests on those four results. Every sound he hears outside makes him jump, hoping it’s the postman delivering the letters. However the first person to come to the door isn’t the postman, its Melanie. The Melanie he hasn’t seen for a year and a half since she disappeared. The Melanie he lost his virginity to. The Melanie who was now holding a baby and claiming it’s his. Melanie asks him to look after baby Emma for an hour at the most while she nips to the shops, but she when she doesn’t come back Dante’s left holding the baby.
This book was so much more than I was expecting. I love Malorie Blackman and I can’t ever fault her work in any way: it’s aways thought-provoking, realistic, exciting and terrifying fiction. I thought Boys Don’t Cry was just about Dante and his baby but there was more to the story and that made me love it even more!
Not only is Dante left looking after a child he knows nothing about, he also has to deal with living without a mother, a gay brother and a bunch of friends who are, for all intents and purposes; pricks. Even Colette wound me up with her selfish naivety, I know she thought what she was doing was for the best, but it wasn’t and she was stupid, as if she thought Dante would just give Emma up straight away!
The characters really made me love this book. Dante was a sweetheart really but he struggled with his emotion so badly that at first he called Emma “it” to try and stop himself from bonding. He really grew in front of the readers eyes though and I loved him for that. Emma had a personality all of her own by the end of the book and she was adorable. I really loved her and she really didn’t do anything for my own broody-ness! Adam was my favorite character. I don’t want to go into what happened to him but that had me bawling my eys out so badly. I needed him to be ok, I needed him to last it out because he was amazing and strong and he needed to stay that way. Dante’s father was also a really interesting character. He came across as a bit of a harsh, strict guy at times but I think he just wanted what was best for his sons and didn’t know how to express his emotions, much like Dante. There were plenty of other character who really got the story rolling and made it what it was. Josh, although awful at times, I really liked. I felt sorry for him more than anything else and wanted to just take him in and make him learn how to love himself.
What also made my excitement and love for the book grow was the writing. I knew before reading that Malorie Blackman is one hell of a talented writer and this book proved that to me again. I very rarely find a book that can make me cry one second and then make me laugh out loud the next, whilst I’ve still got tears rolling down my face! Its amazing how she does it!
Another thing that is included in the book that I loved is the whole stereotype thing. Dante makes a point to the social worker that he thinks she’s more concerned about Emma as he is a single dad and not a single mum, there are also other bits where similar things are mentioned and I loved that. It’s not often that a teen book will throw stereotyping right out in the open like that and I loved every second of it!
I was meant to read this book over a few days but I accidentally read it in two sittings because I couldn’t put it done! It grabs you and pulls you in and I honestly think that everyone should read Boys Don’t Cry.
Boys Don’t Cry was published in April 2011 by Corgi. My copy was purchased.