by Gavin Extence

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

Alex Woods hasn't had a typical life. Struck in the head by a meteor at age 10, he developed epilepsy. He's bookish and a target for bullies at school, and finds his friends elsewhere--in the scientist who first examined "his" meteor, in his neurologist, and, by chance, in Mr. Peterson, an American Vietnam vet still living in England years after his British wife has died. With an nontraditional upbringing (with a single mom who owns a tarot/magic shop), Alex sees things very differently than most boys his age. In this novel, he tells his story, from the meteor at age 10 through to being stopped at customs at age 17 with a bag full of pot, an urn full of ashes, and absolute certainty that he has acted in accordance with his morals. Along the way, he starts a Kurt Vonnegut only book club, learns how the brain works, makes a friend his own age, learns to meditate, and develops a strong bond with Mr. Peterson. His inner calm and moral compass are tested when Mr. Peterson develops a progressive condition that there is no cure for. Told in a voice filled with wonder and humor, Alex Woods is a book and a character that you'll remember.

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