Friday, August 30, 2013

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

When Alex Woods was 10 he got beaned in the noggin by a large meteorite that slammed through his home's roof at 200 miles per hour and conked him out. He's lucky to be alive - although he lost a month of his life (he doesn't remember anything for 2 weeks before, or the 2 weeks he was in a coma) and now he's got to deal with epilepsy caused by the injury.

That's not the only reason he's a bit different. He's really into science and math but hates sports, so that's made him a target for bullies. Oh, and his mom runs a crystal and healing shop and reads tarot cards.

But he can thank those bullies for the incident that introduced him to Mr. Peterson; what began as making restitution turns into an unconventional friendship between the teen and the Vietnam vet. And that friendship ultimately leads to the biggest action in the book.

I'm not sure if this book is supposed to be young adult or adult ... and who cares about labels anyway? It's such a great book that I think anyone over the age of 16 should give it a try (why 16? why not?). Alex is the right kind of quirky - the kind you see yourself in, even if you've got your own unique style of strange. His mother loves him, and he's a guy who does what he believes is right.

I cried. And laughed a lot. Read this book!

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