: Boy Toy (): Barry Lyga: Books. Barry Lyga’s new novel, “Boy Toy,” takes one of the more uncomfortable themes of young adult literature — a sexual relationship between an. Boy Toy. Barry Lyga, Author. Houghton $ (p) ISBN Carefully crafting a narrative structure, Lyga flashes between that traumatic time.

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Author Barry Lyga likes to push the YA envelope. In Boy Toy he does exactly that, going deep into a set of circumstances that will make everyone who reads the book uncomfortable. As they should be. Boy Toy is a novel about child abuse. He presents the entire story in the present tense, directly from the head of the child. Josh Mendel is 18 years old, a senior in high school, a star athlete with phenomenal grades and excellent college prospects, a lifelong best friend and absolutely nothing going for him.

How can that possibly be? The kid is like a golden child — good looking, smart, athletic. Josh wants nothing more urgently than to get out of Brookdale, the small town where he was raised. The small town where his seventh grade history teacher became his lover, then went to prison.


Sherman — Eve — came to be.

He tells it all, what it felt like, how he felt. He tells us how he assaulted a girl his own age during a flicker, the incident that ended his relationship with Eve, sent her to prison and marked him for the rest of his childhood.

He holds nothing back. And that, right there, is what makes Boy Toy so uncomfortable to read. He feels such guilt, about so many things.

What Lyga does is walk us through that guilt, from its very beginnings to its bitter end. Boy Toy is barfy written. Lyga captures this child — now almost a man — and lets us into his deepest secrets, his darkest places, his helpless confusion. Josh has lived for 5 years in a sort of emotional stasis, wallowing in his infamy, seeing blame and derision everywhere he turns, never stopping to think that it might not be real.

Boy Toy — Barry Lyga Dot Com

Josh as a character is heartbreaking and real, his confusion so palpable, his reactions so skewed that the reader wants to reach in and fix his mindset, alter the way he sees the world and set it all right again. But instead we wait, and suffer with him as he tries desperately to come to terms with everything that he feels and thinks he knows about the world — his world.


Overall, Boy Toy is a hard book to read, but eminently satisfying in the end. It thoroughly dispels the myth that this is not garry same as other types of sexual abuse and leaves the reader with a better understanding of the real consequences of this predatory behavior.

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Boy Toy Sue Millinocket T He tells it all, what it felt like, how he felt Author Barry Lyga. Boy Toy Paperback List Price: Leave A Comment Cancel bou Comment. Sign Up for our Weekly Newsletter! We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.