Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Book Review: The Universe Versus Alex Woods

5 Stars 

Verdict: Endearing, funny, thoughtful.

I’ve already pestered my significant other and he enjoyed it too. It’s the type of book you just have to share with others to find out what they think of bits here and there. So much to think about, so many funny observations delivered in a way that made me smile throughout and almost cry in other places.

How does a seventeen year old end up in customs with an urn, thirteen grams of marijuana, and with half the world in awe of him? From the perplexing opening, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put this book down for long. I wanted to know how it all came together, how a teenager ended up in such a mess, and how on earth would he get out of it.

Alex’s logic is dry and simple, often creating humorous explanations that I just had to share with the nearest person. There was a moment when Alex’s mother has dragged him to Mr Peterson’s front door, and the scene is so perfect and funny I really wish it were true.

I liked the mix of misfit characters too. The alternative mum, Ellie the rebel, Mr Peterson the loner. Even Alex himself has been isolated from his peers through illness, and never quite sees eye to eye with them the way most kids just do. His perspectives almost felt like he had an adults mind, especially his enjoyment of learning, but other areas of his life are fairy naive which leave him a misfit it all worlds.

The book also deals with difficult topics in an honest but sensitive way, with the help of Alex's unbending logic. It left me with a lot to think about, long after I'd finished the last page. 

Source: Bought it.