A moving tale of incredible friendship for fans of Jay Asher, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and David Levithan.
It's never been easy for Finley, particularly at home. But two things keep him going: his place on the basketball team and his girlfriend, Erin - the light in even the darkest of his days.
Then Russ arrives. He answers only to Boy21, claims to be from outer space, and also has a past he wants to escape. He's one of the best high school basketball players in the country and threatens to steal Finley's starting position.
Against all the odds, Russ and Finley become friends. Russ could change everything for Finley, both for better and for worse. But sometimes the person you least expect can give you the courage to face what's gone before ...and work out where you're going next.
High school senior Finley has always hoped that his basketball skills will help him escape the dead-end streets of Bellmont, a racially divided town outside Philadelphia, where his future seems bleak. As the only white guy on his school s basketball team, Finley is acutely aware of the uneasy relationship between Bellmont s substantial Irish- and African-American populations. Then Finley s coach introduces him to Russ, a black teenager who, ever since his parents were murdered, has retreated into a strange internal world, claiming to be an extraterrestrial known as Boy21. As Finley and Boy21 s friendship slowly strengthens, they help each other change and grow; both boys attempt to understand past tragedies in their lives, as well as a new one involving Finley s girlfriend, Erin, which further disrupts Finley s understanding of the world. As in Sorta Like a Rock Star, Quick comes perilously close to overstuffing his story with offbeat characters and brutal twists of fate. Yet his emotionally raw tale retains a delicate sense of hope and optimism, making it a real gut punch of a read. Ages 12 up.