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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tour!! A Review of The Only Boy by Jordan Locke with an Excerpt

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
Genre: Young Adult (Dystopian Romance)
Date Published: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Self

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two 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.

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke is a story where the human race is almost wiped out. Males of all species contracted the virus and died first, then the women started catching the virus. I'm not entire sure how the virus spreads, but once someone gets it, there is no cure. Mary and Taylor were pretty likable from the beginning. Taylor has had to live as a female his whole life, and now that he's getting older it's a little harder to hide. Mary and Taylor are opposites in many ways, but they also make sense in a lot of ways too. They can complement each other. I enjoyed the parts of the story where they were together the most. However, they spent a good portion of the story apart with the one thinking the other one's moved on and what not. I wasn't  a fan of the drama in the romance department. Not when it came to this particular story at least. I felt like there was enough going on already without that. I'm not sure what to think about some of the supporting characters. There's one in particular that I didn't get at all. One minute she's trying to protect someone and the next she's trying to kill whole groups of people. I'm intrigued by the Earthers. They were a very interesting bunch, but there was the potential for quite a bit of corruption among them. We see it come out in the actions of a few of them at times. I'm not sure if this will turn into a series, but I can definitely see more books with the Earthers as main characters. You know I'm a fan of a happy ending. The Only Boy wasn't exactly happy, but I can't say it was sad either. I can say that I wasn't disappointed with it.

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke was kindly provided to me by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for review. The opinions are my own.

Excerpt: From Mary’s Point of View

I stand on the roof, scanning the city. Many of the buildings are crumbling, from centuries of decay. Below me, trash from the hospital circles the compound, piled into a wall. A fuel tanker sits on one side of our water tower, a broken-down car on the other. In the distance lies the forest. I would love to wander through the trees, to search for whatever wildlife still lives, to see if I can find just one flower.

It isn’t the rules that stop me. It’s the Earthers—the women who live in the woods. I saw two of them, years ago, when I snuck out one day and wandered into the forest. A child’s voice echoed in the distance. I hid behind a bush and peered through the leaves. A woman and her daughter approached, wearing deerskin parkas, their skin darkened by the sun. I wondered, without men and without a genetics lab, how was the daughter created?

The girl heaved a spear at a tree, and it fell short of the trunk.

“You need to follow through,” the woman said. “And turn your hips.” She made a twisting motion. “Like this.”

“Why can’t we just eat vegetables?”

“Snow will come soon.” The woman picked up the spear. “The crops won’t last through winter.”

“I’m not gonna kill the animals,” the girl said.

“When you’re hungry enough, you will.” The woman turned my way, and I ducked. Their footsteps grew closer, their voices louder. They were within feet of the bush. I crouched. Leaves crunched under my knees. When the footsteps stopped, I ran. Before I got more than a few yards, my foot caught on a stick, and I fell. By the time I righted myself, the woman hovered over me, holding the tip of the spear to my chest.

The girl ran to the woman’s side. “Don’t kill her!”\

“Get back, Wren!” She moved the spear to my face, inches from my nose, and held a frightening scowl.

The girl pulled on her mother’s skirt. “You’re scaring her.”

The woman’s eyes never left me as she scooped up the girl. With the spear pointed at me, she backed away. Even though my hands were shaking and I could barely stand, I wanted to follow them into the forest. 

Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.

To learn more about Jordan Locke and his books, visit his website.You can also find him on Goodreads and Twitter.

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