Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
After hearing about The Only Boy on Instagram, I checked it out on Goodreads and the summary intrigued me so much that I requested the e-Book from the author, Jordan Locke.
Mary’s and Taylor’s story was really captivating and it was told from their viewpoints, thus allowing us to get a glimpse inside their minds, which I found very fascinating, since Mary and Taylor were such interesting protagonists.
Mary and the other girls on the compound have never seen a boy before. They have been taught that men are dangerous and violent, and that they were responsible for most of the bad things that ever happened to our society. So when Mary learns that Taylor, the new ‘girl’, is in fact a boy, she is shocked and scared at first. But then she gets to know him better and she begins questioning the Matriarch’s rules and the strict life on the compound. She also falls in love with Taylor, but so many obstacles stand in their way and they are torn apart so many times, that I wondered if they would ever get their happy ending.
Taylor was likable too and I wanted to learn more about his past and to understand what it must have been like for him to pretend to be a girl. But when Mary and Taylor were separated, I didn’t always like Taylor’s actions, especially while he was living with the Earthers. I cannot get more into this, since I don’t want to spoil the book.
What I loved about The Only Boy was the fact that the author showed us how cruel women could be and that even though girls were taught that men were violent and dangerous, women could in fact be just as vicious and cruel.
Also, the rule about touching was very interesting and I loved reading about it. Touching is forbidden on the compound because of the plague so women don’t comfort their children when they are hurt or cry. The Matriarch’s daughter is a bully and very cruel, and the conclusion that could be drawn from this fact is that the Matriarch never touched her daughter, never held her whenever she needed comfort, thus her daughter became this violent and bad person because her mother never showed her any love and affection.
All in all, I really loved The Only Boy because it was different from other dystopian novels and because it dealt with interesting issues. It also made me think about our society, about parenting, violence and ultimately, about love.
4 out of 5 stars
Note: I would like to thank Jordan Locke for sending me her book!