The Boy Recession
August 7, 2012
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Kelly, who's never had a boyfriend, was going to make this the year when she finally told her crush just how she felt about him. But now, with girls who'd normally never look twice at Hunter paying him - and the other normally overlooked guys - more than an extra bit of attention, she'll have to do something to stand out.
Hunter's been fine with coasting along. Sure, he could apply himself and do all that his guidance counselor insists he's capable of, but that would take effort and playing music, skipping class and hanging with his two friends is much more fun. When he somehow gets roped into doing things that bring the spotlight on him, though, even the most popular girls take notice.
He might even make up for some of those missing boys . . . and be boyfriend material for them.
Can Kelly get him to be her boyfriend? Maybe some help from her two best friends, one boy-crazy, the other who's less into boys and more into books but has the knowledge will give her the edge she needs.
The Boy Recession has a cute premise: Kelly waited to tell her crush how she felt, now that she's ready, all the other girls are taking notice due to there being a boy shortage at their high school . . . What will Kelly do?
If you're looking for a cute, really fluffy summer read then Flynn Meaney's The Boy Recession is likely a good one. I think I was thinking too much to really enjoy it, though.
I might have gotten stuck having trouble with the setup and then wondered about that too far into the story. A lot of Julius P Heil High's boys move away over the summer (the girls figure it's fifteen boys and with about 250 students total, 125 boys, that's 12 percent). I think it was more the small class size, about sixty, that made me wonder about things. Everyone I know who's at schools with class sizes that small has at least tried dating someone from an outside school - if one's at all nearby - by junior year. (From different mentions it seemed like there were colleges and maybe private schools semi-nearby.)
Again, I think that's me over-thinking a book where you're not really supposed to be thinking much at all but it seemed more likely that the girls, instead of getting desperate for the boys that were still at their school, freshman, too, would date someone not at Julius?
This (my over-thinking, wondering why the girls didn't date outside Julius') is probably part of why I didn't love the female characters in the book in general. I wanted them to deal with the Boy Recession a bit better. Obviously I knew they were going to all want to date the boys that were left but I guess I found their behavior more desperate than cute? (Except for one side character who may have been my favorite character, overall.)
Kelly and Hunter's characters, who alternate chapters narrating the story, are stronger. Hunter's narration - and thus character - is a bit off in the beginning, he doesn't quite sound like sixteen-year-old guy at a few points and some of his actions seemed contradictory to his persona. Later on, things felt more true, though. Kelly was a good character whose voice stayed consistent from beginning to end and it was pretty easy to identify with her - and her troubles with the Boy Recession.
The Boy Recession is a light, summertime read. It wasn't for me - I had trouble getting past and over-thinking the setup and its ramifications, younger YA readers, especially, looking for a fluffy read might enjoy it.
Other books you might also enjoy: The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitacker and Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my egalley of this title