About a Boy by Nick Hornby


Synopsis: ‘How cool was Will Freeman?’

Too cool! At thirty-six, he’s as hip as a teenager. He’s single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He’s also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents’ groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.

Which is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old on the planet. Marcus is a bit strange: he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart, looks after his mum and has never owned a pair of trainers. But Marcus latches on to Will – and won’t let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?

My rating: 4/5 stars

The story of this book is told through the eyes of Marcus and Will. Marcus is a twelve-year-old who has too many things on his mind that he shouldn’t be thinking about. Will should think more about certain things in his life.

The relationship development between Will and Marcus is beautiful. Throughout the events in the book, they both learn to be a bit more like the other. Marcus learns to stick up for himself, and starts to live. Will learns that there’s more than just sex in a relationship.

Reading this book isn’t a fun ride, though it’s not an emotional burden. Fiona, Marcus’s mom, deals with suicidal depression and Marcus gets bullied a lot. Though the story is written in such a way that it didn’t make me sad. It’s like you don’t just read through Marcus’s eyes, it’s like you also feel like Marcus. He doesn’t realize what’s going on and what consequenses it would have when his mom takes serious action. This makes you fully engage into the story.

Will’s character appears highly superficial. His thoughts felt flat and didn’t hit me. Though his character develops more throughout the book and his feelings do come to the surface. It turns out Will cares about a lot more than he thought he did.

Marcus starts hanging out with Ellie, who is older and completely the opposite from him. Their relationship turned out to be meaningfull and there are some great observations made from it. SPOILER: Marcus observes that Ellie doesn’t have a miserable life, but that she makes it miserable herself. Marcus himself has a miserable life, which he does not create himself. This makes Marcus think about his relationship with Ellie differently, and makes his realize that he wants friends who are more like him.

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