The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (REVIEW)

E.S. Wesley
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E.S. Wesley

E.S. Wesley is a serial (or cereal) writer, mentor, and dabbler in whatever other creative endeavors tickle his fancy. He likes to write books with complicated plots and stuff.
E.S. Wesley
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The Real BoyThe Real Boy by Anne Ursu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu really hits hard for a middle grade novel. It’s a story about a boy who’s sure he doesn’t work right, who believes he’s broken and doesn’t belong (sounds like another of Ursu’s books, Breadcrumbs), and who’s okay with that. Which makes for a great tale.

The protagonist, Oscar, is the most engaging part of this story. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but The Real Boy‘s Oscar has a unique perspective of the world that makes you root for him more than most characters. He’s flawed in a deep, deep way, but his flaw is also his strength. I haven’t felt for a character like I felt for Oscar in a long, long time.

What follows the setup is a wonderfully twisty story full of magic and betrayals and friends and mysteries that will keep you on your toes throughout. Ursu does a great job of never giving you entirely what you expect, and that’s hard to do.

And she does it with a command of language that we often don’t find even in adult books. I’ve said it before … Ursu’s writing proves that if you write a great story in a beautiful way, those age categories just fall away, leaving a wonderful reading experience for everyone. (Click to Tweet)

Read The Real Boy if you’re looking for a magical story with an amazingly drawn protagonist, an emotional, touching growth arc, and you’ve ever wondered if you really belong.

Do not read The Real Boy if you think that everything should be solved by magic, if all you want to do is grow your own knowledge, if you’re greedy, or if you don’t like good stories.

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