It took me forever to figure out what to say in those two sentences. I'm still reeling from the way the story unfolded and attempting to figure out what young adult audience could appropriately handle the contents of Boy Toy. Don't get me wrong - I was riveted and thought it was an amazing book and am anxious to read more of Lyga's novels. I'm just not sure what to do with this book in the hands of a teen. The sometimes graphic sexual content makes me fearful of teenage boys reading and coming to the wrong conclusion about how to respond to some of the scenes. Of course, it would probably be the girls that would read it, and I'm not sure how they'd react. That said, I think it has a place in a public library's collection, and maybe even a high school's collection, if they had a big enough budget to purchase many other books first.
**SPOILER ALERT** (It's been out a while, but just in case you don't want to know too much...)
As a trained sexual assault support advocate, I'm also fairly distraught over the portrayal of the legal proceedings. From the moment the truth began to come out I was disgusted by the way Josh's parents and the police treated him, acting as though he were a criminal, and not the victim. I can't recall a single sentence of dialogue uttered by an adult that sought to assure Josh that he did nothing wrong or show him any ounce of compassion or comfort. Also, I'm not sure what the laws are in Maryland, but the last time I checked (at least in New Jersey), victims of sexual assault cannot be compelled to testify AND great pains are taken to ensure that IF they agree to testify - particularly in incidences of CHILD molestation - the defendant is NOT in the courtroom. While the accused do have the right to confront their accusers, I'm fairly certain this is suspended in these cases, similar to the way it is in domestic violence cases.*
*But I could be wrong, of course.