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Review The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney


The population of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, is shrinking as families move to cities and towns with greener pastures, and the local high school is hurting: nearly all of the area’s most eligible guys have moved or transferred schools.

With little competition, the remaining boys find their stocks on the rise, and even the most unlikely candidates have a good chance at making the team and getting the girl. Guitar-strumming slacker HUNTER FAHRENBACH has made an art of blending into the background, but now desperate coaches are recruiting him and popular girls are noticing his scruffy good looks. With a little help, Hunter might even by boyfriend material…

Down-to-earth KELLY ROBBINS has a simple wish for her junior year: “one normal, nice boy to crush on.” Kelly and Hunter have always been friends, but is there something more to their platonic relationship? And can Kelly overcome the odds? After all, dating is hard enough without a four-to-one ratio.

Genre: YA Contemporary/Fiction
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Page Count: 246
Source: My copy.
Rating: 4/5

The Boy Recession was so cute. I don’t have anything negative to say about it, but it didn’t exactly change my life or anything, so I think a 4 is appropriate.

The book opens up in Hunter’s point of view, which excited me. I LOVE YA’s told from the male POV. Teenage boys are… interesting. Of course, the book eventually starts to switch back and forth from Hunter’s POV to Kelly’s. But I didn’t mind – Kelly is a very down to earth, real character. She’s afraid she’s too normal – and nothing good ever happens to anyone normal – but really, she’s just very sweet and everyone loves her.

When I started to read into the boys involved in this novel – Hunter, Eugene, Derek – I thought, these guys are basically losers. They hang out at a gas station, never with any girls. Eugene is an “entrepreneur”, and Hunter is very smart, but they don’t want to seem to do anything about it.

Then comes The Boy Recession. All the school’s eligible boys are whisked off to other schools, and the girls of the school no longer have so many to pick from. And Eugene has this plan to get with one of the “spandexers”, and it actually works. The thing is, these boys are kind of losers, but at the same time, they’re not. Hunter certainly turns his life around by teaching younger kids music, actually finishing a song, starring in the school’s musical, etc. And it turns out, they really know how to treat girls. Except Derek, of course:

“Be a gentleman. When she walks in a room, you stand up. When she gets to a door, you open it. When she gets to a chair, you pull it out.”

“Bullshit!” Derek calls out, his voice muffled by his hat. “Women can hold their own doors and pull out their own chairs. You’re a sexist pig, Eugene.”

And that, my friends, is what I was really looking for in this book. A romantic comedy. And if I’m perfectly honest, this book is fucking hilarious. No, there’s nothing special about the writing style, but that’s okay, because Flynn Meaney is really, really funny. Between Aviva’s witty newspaper articles, Hunter and Kelly’s relationship as it blossoms, Eugene’s binder of boys (Mitt Romney, anyone?) – it was all so cute. This book tells a sweet story about teen love that’s honest and intelligent and I think more YA contemporary writers could gain from following its model.