What Boys Are Made Of – Book I of the Saint Flaherty series
Genres: LGBT, Action, Dystopian
WARNING: Mature Content
Nobody wants to be a murderer, but some don’t get the choice.
A second civil war has torn America apart, leaving Appalachia an isolated minefield ruled by cartels. In the town of Buchell, Simon “Saint” Flaherty cage fights for money—until the day a fight gone wrong leaves him a murderer.
His coach uses the publicity to set Simon up in the fight of his life in scarcely a month’s time, but physically ready doesn’t mean mentally ready. Still reeling from what he’s done, Simon will do anything not to kill again.
But Simon’s coach isn’t the only man in Buchell with an eye for talent. The cartels that keep a stranglehold over the mountains are scouting for new recruits, and the local kingpin has his eye on the teenager with the one-punch knockout.
With big money on the line and no way to escape, it’s time for Simon to learn to live with blood on his hands–before he ends up dead too.
What I think of the book:
This is one of those books. The books that I think will turn out one way, but they do another.
I expected less personal drama and more action, but I’ve gotten so attached to the characters that I’m not disappointed. Maybe it’s because of the different points of view that this story is told from. There are five – if I didn’t miss any when I counted – POVs, but a couple of characters who are not narrators have such strong influence that I feel like I’ve read a chapter or two from their POV.
Now don’t get me wrong; there is some action too. We have Simon and his fights – sometimes with opponents, sometimes outside the ring. The training and fighting scenes are well-written, but it’s what propels him to fight that makes it interesting to read. He’s young and emotional and he has to toughen and grow up. He actually believes that he’s an adult even though he’s only sixteen.
But it’s not only him. The war has messed up everyone’s lives and one of the consequences is twenty-something year olds claiming they are old. Comparing my world and the one described in What Boys Are Made Of is one of the things that keeps me reading; Simon, Erin and the rest live in a world very familiar, yet very different.
Something I initially had a problem with was the way everyone spoke. Mixed up tenses, bad grammar… It was a problem for me.
But only for a while.
The way they speak helps set the atmosphere in the book. They are poor people who grew up during the war or in the messed-up world that suffered from it; it would be odd – to say the least – to have them be eloquent. But even with their bad English, they manage to come up with some interesting sentences – mostly when they are using comparisons – that sometimes earned them a giggle from me. In the end, what started as a pet peeve turned into one of the things I appreciate the most about the book.
Who I would recommend this book to? What Boys Are Made Of is for people who want to see how others try to endure hardship and who are not squeamish and won’t be put off by themes like war, murder and rape. Also, to readers who don’t expect that everything will work out in the end.
My rating: (4.5 out of 5 bloody baseball bats)
Would I re-read this book? Yes!
Would I buy other books in this series or by this author? Yes!
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (link takes you straight to the book)
Have you read What Boys Are Made Of?
What did you think of it?
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