Author: Flynn Meaney
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Interest: Contemporary / More than one POV
Source: ARC received from the publisher
Summary (From Goodreads): It’s all about supply and demand when a high school deals with the sudden exodus of male students.
The boy recession has hit Julius P. Heil High, and the remaining boys find that their stock is on the rise: With little competition, even the most unlikely guys have a good chance at making the team and getting the girl. Guitar-strumming, class-skipping Hunter Fahrenbach never wanted to be a hot commodity, but the popular girls can’t help but notice his unconventional good looks. With a little work, he might even by boyfriend material.
But for down-to-earth Kelly Robbins, the boy recession is causing all sorts of problems. She has secretly liked her good friend Hunter for a while now, but how can she stand out in a crowd of overzealous Spandexers?
As if dating wasn’t hard enough without a four-to-one ratio!
This summer I’ve realized that I need to read more light-hearted contemporary YA. The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney is a light and fun, quick read which is exactly what I needed when I read it. Don’t we all need that from time to time?
The premise of The Boy Recession will be easy to sell to my students this coming school year. I remember it feeling like there were hardly any guys to date in my high school, but if all the “cute” ones were gone?! I would have been devastated. I can’t imagine too many of my girls in class feeling any differently than I would have. I like that Flynn Meaney wrote the story so the girls in the novel start to look at these other guys in a different light.
I also have a number of students interested in books with more than one point of view, so there’s another selling piece. Readers get to see the story from Hunter’s side (representing the male population) and Kelly’s side (representing the female population). I honestly can’t picture this book being written any other way; I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable. I will admit that I wasn’t paying attention to chapter headings when I first opened this book. It says “Hunter” which explains why I was so confused when I started reading and thought, “This girl is acting kind of like a guy…” In my defense, I started reading this late at night. Anyway, the dual narration really works and it’s done pretty well. I wish the cover was a little more gender neutral (big part of the reason I thought a girl would be narrating the entire story) because I think some guys would enjoy it. I don’t know how easy it will be to hand The Boy Recession to one of my guys in class; they don’t always handle pink well.
The Boy Recession isn’t hilariously funny, but it’s humorous enough to get a few giggles here and there. One line that keeps coming back to me and making me laugh is when Hunter is getting dressed up for an event and compares his look and outfit to Scott Disick. *Warning he uses some poor language in the exchange.*
Hunter: “Holy crap,” I say. “I look like that douchebag who’s dating the other Kardashian sister.”
Eugene: “Don’t hate on Scott Disick,” Eugene warns me. “He’s my fashion role model.”
Taken out of context that may not be as funny, and poor language aside, I love that reference because I know exactly how to picture Hunter’s outfit/look in this scene. Flynn Meaney has little one-liners like this (not all tinged with similar language) dispersed throughout the book. It’s scenes like these that give the reader a broader understanding of who the characters are and what their personalities are like. It’s fun seeing Hunter not really caring about anything at the beginning of the story to worrying about his pants getting wrinkled and that a plan works out by the end of the book. His humor, however, stays constant which Kelly really likes about him as do I.
I really liked The Boy Recession and am looking forward to recommending it to my students. I suggest that the middle school teachers following my blog read this first before passing it on to your students because while I’m not overly concerned about some of the language choices, you may not feel as comfortable with it. Besides, it’s an entertaining book that should be read! Maybe Flynn Meaney’s new book can be one more book read before the summer’s over.