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Boys I Know | Anna Gracia | Book Review

Boys I Know is a young adult book set during the period of time of high school ending and real life beginning. Or at least what is perceived to be real life. It is a messy part of life for some. June Chu is a character who fulfilled the role of messiness during this transitional period of time. She is trying hard to live up to everyone’s expectations while also trying to just figure her life out.

Right from the beginning the reader is thrown into the roller-coaster of June’s life. She is filled with so much angst. She feels like she doesn’t fit in especially being an Asian American in a small town. She has her own ambitions but has people telling her what she should do. She desires love but desires her independence too. June is a complex character and while I appreciated what the author was trying to set up with her, it also felt like complete overkill.

There is so much going on with June and it just keeps getting piled on. This is where I really felt like it was being overdone. It all felt disorganized to me. It was almost as if the author was afraid that a point was going to be missed so it is all put together in one massive ball of information. Now I can’t speak for the author but, if the intention was to make the reader as high strung as June, I would say mission accomplished. I just wish I had more of a resolution in the end though.

June is able to comes to terms with the transition in her life. This felt both realistic but also a little bit of a let down. I felt like there was so much still unsaid which makes sense she is a young adult. Yet it felt undone and like there were so many things left unsaid. Personally as a reader I felt disjointed by the end. Part of me was grateful that the ending was there but a larger part of me was still trying to figure out all the information that was dropped on me.

Boys I Know tackles several themes that are point to young adulthood. These include love, sex, relationships, friendships, community, education, and parental expectations. I feel like something something but likely that is because there was so much presented to me as the reader. I liked that this book was so sex positive but, also felt that June was using sex as an escape. Not that there is anything wrong with that but for me it felt like it was a way to not have character development. The second half of book did wind up developing the character but as mentioned before there were loose ends. I also like the presentation of the Asian American culture and conflicted with immigrated parents. This is something that is much needed within the young adult genre and hope to see more from author Anna Garcia. I just also hope its a bit more organized.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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