14781200Reviewed by Krystal Larson

Is there ever a point where the age gap in a relationship becomes too large? What does society deem as acceptable? Is it fair that it is easier for a man to date a much younger woman than the other way around?

Anna is fresh from a divorce and still recovering. When she sees her twenty-ish year-old neighbor, she knows that any relationship with him would likely be inappropriate. However, her divorce has left her feeling old and unwanted; when he looks at her, he makes her feel youthful and alive. She tries to stay away from him, but finds it nearly impossible to do so – especially considering that he lives right next door. Can Anna make the right decision? What *is* the right decision?

Anna’s character in The Boy was a somewhat sympathetic one. I felt bad that she went through a harsh divorce and was left feeling so badly about herself. However, did her past experience excuse her actions with a much younger man? She definitely made a bad decision (at least according to this particular reader). I wanted to bop her over the head or try to stop her…to no avail. Her involvement with the boy often distracted her from her usual duties as a parent and made her seem even more selfish.

Anna was a little off in her thinking; for example, one day she’d fixate on her young love and the other she would fixate on her role as a mother. Her entire thought process seemed incongruous. In this way, I definitely found fault with her character. It did not help that Anna had some unfortunate incidences with drug abuse and alcohol that left me a tad on the horrified side. However, Santoro did make her character incredibly realistic by throwing in these traits. I felt as if I truly stepped in the middle of a newly divorced woman’s life and one that she was handling somewhat badly.

The Boy isn’t one of those “happily ever after” books and readers who prefer those should likely leave this book alone. However, the raw emotions and realism make this book a stand-out for adults if they are willing to give The Boy a chance.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Little, Brown and Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.