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The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

The Only Boy

by Jordan Locke

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The Only Boy was one of those books that I really wanted to read after reading the synopsis, I mean, how often do you get a boy pretending to be a girl in a book? - not that often that I know of. I must admit after actually reading the book it became more than that plot for me, for a young adult book it was actually kind of deep.

Taylor and Mary alternate points of view to tell their story of meeting one another and experiencing to very different homes - but they both live is a reality were men/boys are scarce or non-existent. Their story tells us about a community after a horrible disease that started with the men but also took a majority of women off the planet. They live in various sections under the Matriarch that had plotted rules to live by - for example, no touching, no leaving the compound, no doing anything the Matriarch doesn't like really - and that is everything.

I feel like in the 270 pages we got a lot of information and realizations. Both Mary and Taylor have experienced loss and are dealing with it; they find each other and have to learn to cope with the realization that things are different; there is crazy plot twisting all the way through; and then there are the Earthers who are (in my opinion) a little creepy...

This was a great book. I really enjoyed this dystopian society and its various bits, but I was curious -- If Mary was in Section One and Taylor from Section Seven -- where are the other Sections? Where are the people in them? I also felt like the ending and the explanation at the end about the disease/d was kind of a cop-out...thus 4 instead of 5 stars. But still a VERY GOOD read. ( )
  sszkutak | May 30, 2014 |
" The Cleansing didn't end violence. The Cleansing didn't bring peace. When free to find their own way, women are just as destructive."

A young adult dystopian novel with a different twist. Years ago, a disease wiped out the entire male population, and a lot of the women. Now only women survive and reproduce through genetic engineering. They live in Sectors, abandoned hospitals, schools and other large buildings. The women follow a strict set of rules including not touching that were designed to bring peace, end war and stop the spread of the disease, which men were blamed for; even though the women fight and believe themselves to be in a war with the women who choose to live outside, the Earthers. The enforcers of the rules for each Sector is the Matriarch. Mary lives in Section 1 with a very strict Matriarch. She has never even seen a boy, not even in her biology textbooks, they've been cut out. When Section 7 is bombed, a new person comes to sector one. Taylor has hidden his identity his whole life, but when he meets Mary, he feels...different.

This story is told from the alternating points of view of Mary and Taylor. This makes for a quick-paced read. The plot, for a YA dystopian story was unique. The world and how it works was explained well, I usually have a lot of questions about these questionable worlds, but the disease, reproduction and the hierarchy of the society was explained fairly well. My favorite character was actually Taylor, he grew up hiding who he was his entire life and at seventeen that will start to become more and more difficult. At Section 1, coming out as a boy is extremely dangerous, so it was very interesting to see Taylor's decision making process and this time and how he finds his role in the matriarchal society. The Earthers were another interesting part, living off the Earth and keeping their secrets buried underground. The plot twist with the Matriarch was great! I do wish that the immunity with the disease was explained at the end, but that's it.

This book was received for free return for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | May 25, 2014 |
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"Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like tw centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules -- the Matriarch's senseless rules -- prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out. Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed. Mary's never seen a boy -- the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks -- and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him. Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary -- and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries."--Back cover… (more)

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