Saturday, December 3, 2011

MEN in YA: iBoy by Kevin Brooks (Review + Giveaway)

Genre:Young Adult,Thriller
Publication.Date  November 1st 2011
Published By:  Scholastic Canada
WebsiteKevin Brooks
iBoy - Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

What can he do with his new powers -- and what are they doing to him?
Before the attack, Tom Harvey was just an average teen. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualized App. Fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they're having an extraordinary effect on his every thought.
Because now Tom knows, sees, and can do more than any normal boy ever could. But with his new powers comes a choice: To avenge Lucy, the girl he loves, will he hunt down the vicious gangsters who hurt her? Will he take the law into his own electric hands and exterminate them from the South London housing projects where, by fear and violence, they rule?
Not even his mental search engine can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy's actions.
A WiFi, WTF thriller by YA master Kevin Brooks.

“She moved closer to me, put her hands to my face, and kissed me softly on the lips.
God, it felt so good.
So perfect, so right...
It felt so good, I nearly fell off the roof.”
I was in control of being out of control...
"She likes you, she always has. Do you remember that time when she asked you to marry her?"
"Marry her?"
Gram nodded. "It was ages ago, you must have been about six or seven... the two of you were sitting on the floor in the front room, playing with some LEGOs or something, and she just turned to you and said, "Will you marry me when I'm older?"
"Really? What did I say?"
Gram thought about it for a moment, then smiled again. "I don't think you said anything. I think you just started crying."
I laughed. "Yeah, that sounds like me. I always was pretty slick with the ladies."
I wasn't the normal Tom Harvey anymore. I was iBoy. I had the ability to do things that I couldn't do before, and there was something inside me - a part of me that I wasn't sure I liked - that made me feel that it was my duty, my obligation, to make the most of those abilities and try to do something useful with them.

     Spiderman meets the WWW Trilogy in Kevin Brook's fantastic YA novel, iBoy. Intriguing premise, approachable writing style, and characters you really care about - all that makes this book a truly fascinating, quick read. The movie-like action scenes will blow your mind and you definitely won't be able to put it down! Are you ready for this awesomely nerdalicious ride?

"And that's when I saw it - that small black object, hurtling down through the bright blue sky toward me, and then...
A momentary flash of blinding pain...
And then nothing.
The end of normality."
    Tom Harvey was on his way back home from school on a Friday afternoon when his skull was shattered by an iPhone. The 32GB iPhone 3GS was thrown from the top floor of a tower block. Tom was lucky enough to survive the accident, but he'll never be the same again. The doctors haven't been able to remove all the phone pieces from his brain. Some of them have lodged themselves very deep - too deep to risk pulling them out. 
How do you describe something indescribable? I mean, how do you describe something that's beyond the limits of human comprehension? How do you even begin to explain it?
     When Tom wakes up from a coma, he learns from his Grandmother that his close friend, Lucy, has been attacked and raped by a local gang. It happened around the time of his accident and is most likely related to it in some way. He also discovers that his brain has the ability to connect to the world wide web and basically do anything a smart phone can do. He can even send electric shocks, like some wicked cool version of a living taser! Electromagnetic force field, the ability to hack into just about any website or online database, unlimited access to the WWW resources - all that turns our "just-an-avarage-boy" into "insanely-cool-iBoy-hero". But like in any other hero story, with great power comes great responsibility. Can Tom handle all that? Will he manage to take revenge on Lucy's attackers without making matters worse for her?
I couldn't help smiling to myself as I crossed over to the lift with Gram.
"What?" Gram asked me. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing..." I looked at her grinning. "It's just...well, iBoy... I mean, that's actually pretty good, isn't it?"
Gram shrugged. "It's better than fuckhead."
     I thought this book was really great. The premise itself was enough to lure me in - I couldn't wait to pick it up! It reminded me in a way of Robert J. Sawyer's "WWW Trilogy" (Wake, Watch, Wonder), which I reviewed a few months before and even dedicated a whole week to it (yeah, it was pretty awesome!). The main protagonist from the WWW Trilogy had the ability to literally see the World Wide Web and, well, communicate with it. iBoy is, of course, different in many ways, but the premise is similarly cool and fascinating. Plus I totally loved the superhero feeling this story had. I am a total nerd in that sense. I just love all the superhero movies, no matter how cheesy they might be! iBoy felt a lot like Spiderman - we have a shy teenager who doesn't have enough self-confidence to ask the girl out. He can't protect himself nor anyone around him. He's neither super smart, super sexy nor super strong. Just an average Peter Parker. And then something extraordinary happens to him. There's an accident and his life is flipped inside out. He turns  his iSkin on and all of a sudden he's the cool, strong, gorgeous hero. Unstoppable, confident, brave. I really, really loved that! I genuinely liked Tom, he was a great, believable, likeable character. I was constantly cheering for him!

I could feel a sensation of power. It wasn't a physical sensation, it was more like a feeling of potential... the kind you get when you touch the surface of a laptop or an iPod or something. Do you know what I mean? You can't actually feel anything, but something tells you that there's power under your fingertip, the power to do wonderful things.

     The thing I liked the most about this book was Tom's narrative voice. It was so smooth and natural, so easy to relate to! I felt like I was reading a Young Adult book written by a teenager. The way Tom spoke and the thoughts he shared with us.. it didn't feel forced or pretended at all. I was really impressed with Brook's ability to write from a teenager's POV in such a fab, genuine way!

     I also liked the overall atmosphere of this story. Despite the tragic accidents at the beginning and the unfairness of it all, this book is a very positive read. It gives you hope. It makes you believe, even if it's just for a second, that good always triumphs over the evil, and in the end justice is served. I found it very uplifting and comforting. It's a great change after all the depressing dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels. We all need a hero sometimes.

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Thanks to the fabulous
I have one hardcover copy of iBoy up for grabs!
To be eligible to win all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and enter through Rafflecopter below.
This giveaway is open to CANADA only (sorry guys, Publisher's request!)
Ends: December 20th

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This review is posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)
For more awesomeness (reviews, interviews, giveaways, guest posts) please click the banner below!

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


manda-rae said...

The instructions before the Rafflecopter form say this giveaway is open only to Canada. But the Rafflecopter lists US and international. Can you please clarify?

Asheley T. said...

i've heard of this one and i'll admit, my curiousity is really high! what an interesting concept, and a really fun title! when you say it reminds you of a superhero story -- that tugs at me because I TOO am a geeked-out sucker for a hero... :)

fun review, evie!

Megan said...

Sounds like an interesting book with a very heroic hero.

Giselle said...

This book sounds wonderful! I love that it has a male protagonist too! <3

Xpresso Reads

Stella Chen said...

Love the cover and I think I will love this book.
Nice giveaway!

FireStarBooks said...

I just ADORE male main character! Haha, I love how you mentioned Spiderman/Peter Parker.

Unknown said...

This story sounds absolutely wonderful. Tom sounds like a character I will really enjoy spending time with. :)

Thank you for sharing!

Natalia Belikov said...

My dear Evie! like always,you provide us such a thoughtful, wonderful, positive and eloquent review!! Thank you so much for the quality you always share =)

I read Lucas and is one of my favorite books! Kevin Brooks is certainly a fabulous author and you prove it with your review =)

Muah!! have a great Sunday my dear and thank you so much for the giveaway! kyaaaaaaaaaa! =D

Dazzling Reads

Andra Lyn said...

wow...creepy...I can't even imagine having a phone in your brain...though it would make it easier to chat/text in class or at work. :) OR tweeting! I could tweet via brain-waves! yes!

Kathy said...

This totally reminds me of Spiderman and that is awesome. I also agree that sometimes you need that uplifting, hero story.

The premise sounds really good, and the use of technology is dfferent from anything I've read.

I may have to check this one out.

Thanks for making me want to add so many books to my reading list.

Read Between the Lines said...

Awesome Review Evie like always I think this book sounds good so I think I am adding it to my TBR pile

mais3477 said...

thanks for the giveaway and the lovely review!

Bhand35 said...

I love your reviews, they really make me wish i had more time to read.

Enbrethiliel said...


What an original premise! I'm surprised that there haven't been more stories like this, given the current technological environment.

The grittiness of an actual rape (even if it happens "off screen") makes me raise my eyebrows, but also makes me recognise that this isn't going to be a fun PG-13 romp where kids have superpowers for the sake of having superpowers. It sounds as if iBoy asks some serious moral questions. I really, really like that in a book.

Thanks so much for the review! I'm going to be looking out for this one. =)

Dian said...

The title of this novel is so eye-catching for me. Okay, so there is iDevice who is not Apple product named iBoy. Really fresh idea. Thumb up!

Freya Oliver said...

Nice review. I have to check this one out soon.

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