Summary (from book):
You’re waiting for the postman--he’s bringing your exam results. University, a career as a journalist...a glittering future lies ahead. But when the doorbell rings, it’s your old girlfriend; and she’s carrying a baby...your baby.
She’s had enough and now it’s your turn.
What would you do?
I had first discovered author Malorie Blackman some years ago with her Noughts and Crosses series. I had loved those books so when I saw Boys Don’t Cry at the bookstore, I couldn’t resist picking it up. Plus the premise sounded great. A single teenage father, I don’t read about those too often. I wasn’t disappointed by this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Dante had his whole life planned out. He would get his exam results, go to university to study journalism and then have a career as a reporter. But while waiting for the mail and his exams results, Dante’s ex-girlfriend shows up with baby Emma, claiming that she is Dante’s daughter. And then she leaves, letting Dante deal with everything baby related. Now that his life has been turned completely upside down, Dante has to figure out what to do with his life, and most importantly how to be a good father to Emma.
Like I’ve said, you rarely get to read about teenage fathers so it was really interesting to read about Dante and see him change and evolve. He basically went from a state of denial to loving Emma unconditionally. Even though at first I would get annoyed with his attitude towards being a father, I also found that my heart was breaking for him at the same time. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done had I found myself in Dante’s position at the end of high school. I can be pretty selfish sometimes so I don’t know that I would have been able to give it all up like Dante did. All that to say that I loved seeing Dante change, grow and come to accept his new role as a father. By the end of the book I was pretty much in love with Dante.
Rarely do I read books where all the main characters are guys. Dante’s father and his brother Adam were really great. You sort of expect most parents to freak out and get angry when they find out their teenager had a baby, but it’s not what happened here. Sure Dante’s father freaked out a little but then he took control of the situation and made sure everything would be all right. I particularly liked seeing him when he was acting like a stereotypical grandfather completely spoiling his granddaughter. My heart goes out to Adam though. He really didn’t have things easy and his family wasn’t the first to be supportive about him being gay. I just wanted him to be happy and get what he wanted and I totally felt his pain.
Malorie Blackman writes books that deal with rather controversial subjects. The Noughts and Crosses series took place in a world where the blacks rule and the whites are inferior. Boys Don’t Cry deals with teen pregnancy which isn’t something I’ve read about in a lot of books, much less cases that focus on a teen father as opposed to a teen mother. Despite the subject being controversial, you can read the book without really realizing that it’s all that controversial. Boys Don’t Cry is a book like many others that you can read and enjoy but it will also get you thinking about all the teenagers that actually go through all this every day. And even then, that’s only one of the many issues that are addressed in this book.
Overall, Boys Don’t Cry was a wonderful novel and allowed me to fall in love with Malorie Blackman’s writing all over again. If you haven’t read anything by this author, I strongly recommend that you go and pick up one of her books. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.