Book Review: Boo by Neil Smith 9780345808141

Book Review: Boo by Neil Smith 9780345808141

LiQ_Mag_July_2015_CoverThis review first appeared in the July 2015 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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Boo
By Neil Smith
ISBN: 9780345808141
Price: $21.00
Publisher: Knopf Canada

Review by Sara Crabtree

When 13-year-old Oliver “Boo” Dalrymple suddenly dies at the beginning of the eighth grade, he wakes up in Town, the version of the afterlife in this quirky, yet darkly evocative debut novel by Neil Smith.

LiQ_Mag_Sub_BannerShortly after his rebirth in Town, Boo discovers he is a “gommer,” a murdered kid. His roommate, Johnny, a classmate who was killed by the same murderer as Boo, convinces Boo and several other residents of Town to track down the murderer, known as Gunboy, and bring him to justice.

Boo’s rebirth in Town, his journey to find his murderer, and the aftermath of his eventful first few months as a “townie” are recounted in a journal, written to his parents, in hopes of reassuring them of his successful, though not peaceful passing.
Through the journal, Boo deals with struggles that help him to understand friendship and forgiveness, and eventually to let go of the boy he was in order to embrace the boy he can now be.

This coming-of-age story addresses many issues that touch modern youth in a fresh, smart manner. With this touching tale, his first novel, Smith has proven himself as an author to watch.

Review by Sara Crabtree

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About Author

Sara Crabtree

Sara Crabtree is a native of Texas and has been living in Quebec since 2012. She holds a B.A. in English and a Master’s in Education. She taught Middle School Reading and English before moving to Canada. She currently teaches private English courses, watches lots of movies, and of course reads books voraciously.

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