Rated of 5
by Ann S. (Shenandoah, IA) Golden Boy
I found the opening very disturbing. It was however a riveting story. Max's character was realistic in the way he tried to deal with his situation. I was stunned that the parents were unable to help him. Without Sylvie and the doctor, Max would have had no one to turn to.
I feel that the ending was contrived and forced. Max is after all still a teenager; he still has so much to deal with, (as do his parents) but he may be on the right track.
Rated of 5
by Alexandra S. (Chicago, IL) Golden Boy is Gold
I sat down on Saturday morning to read a few chapters and realized that I hadn't stopped for four hours. Golden Boy is a gut-wrenching novel about an Intersex boy coming to terms with who he is after an extremely traumatic event.
Tarttelin weaves a beautiful narrative of a seemingly perfect family that has been hiding a deep, dark secret and how that secret is forced into daylight after their intersex son, Max, is raped by a close friend.
Golden Boy is told through first person narratives, so we as the reader see into the minds of each of the characters. We feel Max's pain and shame, we understand why his parent's chose to hide the problem, why everyone in the Walker family is constantly seeking perfection. The novel is gut-wrenching and at times you want to put it down, I found myself crying on several occasions, you just can't stand to feel the pain these characters are feeling. But it is so beautifully written and compelling that you can't walk away.
My one criticism is of the voice of Daniel. While I understood why Tarttelin wanted to bring another voice into the book, one who wasn't completely entrenched in the secrets, I felt as though Daniel's character was a little off-putting. Initially when I began the book, I thought that he was somewhere on the spectrum of autism, I realized that he was just emotionally immature with some behavioral issues. Max's character needed a brother, or at least someone that he could just sit with an be, but at times I thought Daniel's character didn't fit.
I loved this novel and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great book.
Rated of 5
by Nancy C. (Newton, KS) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
This is a book I would not have picked out to read on my own. That said, I am glad that I did. The story is an emotionally wrenching look into a subject I was totally unfamiliar with. Max, the golden boy, lives what on the surface seems to be a charmed life. Athletic, handsome and a genuinely nice teen; his life begins to unravel quickly as the facade his parents have created comes apart. Born with both male and female organs, his parents chose to raise him as a boy and defer any decision for surgery until he is older. The supporting characters round out the story in a satisfying manner. Daniel, the brother, provides an anchor for Max through his unwavering love. Wise beyond his years, he was my favorite character. Both parents love Max but make some devastating decisions regarding him. Hunter, his childhood friend, is so flawed that he is the perfect villain you can love to hate.
Tarttelina, a first time novelist, begins her story with no holds barred and at first I was not sure this was the book for me. I am glad I persevered and I find that Max, Daniel and their parents still occupy my thoughts long after the book concluded.
Rated of 5
by Linda D. (Williamsburg, VA) A Must Read!
Golden Boy is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I sat down intending to read a few chapters and found myself putting everything else off until I finished the book. The story is about a family that has hidden the fact their child is intersex and has to deal with his and their own feelings regarding this as well as their fear of being exposed as "imperfect" when the boy is abused by an old friend. The story is told by alternating viewpoints of each of the characters which, along with the subject itself, drives the readers' curiosity to learn more about both the characters and their story. The book addresses many issues including our need to project perfection, family secrets and communication, personal identity and acceptance, and sexuality and it is hard to do it justice in a brief summary. Suffice it to say that I found the story to be riveting and the characters to be realistic and ones that I really cared about. The author does an extraordinary job dealing with a serious subject with skill and empathy and doing so in a manner that is both thought provoking and entertaining. This is a book that should not be missed and I cannot wait to see what this young author creates next
Rated of 5
by John P. (Timonium, MD) A very interesting and difficult dilemma
Max, an intersex adolescent confronts a very difficult situation. The decision is compounded and complicated by the careers of his parents and his own popularity. At times the path is predictable but it is not without twists and turns that startle, inform and educates as your race to the conclusion.
Rated of 5
by Kristen H. (Lowell, MA) Just when you think you had it hard
This story took me for a ride right from the first page. Most of us think we have hard lives for one reason or another but not too many of us can imagine how hard it must be for those in the world who struggle with trying to figure out who they are just like Max did in "Golden Boy". Max's parents also had trouble during his struggle because they had made the initial decision for him when he was born which is what caused his "problem". Imagine being in their place having to make the choice for your child. I can't imagine being in any of these positions and I think that Abigail Tarttelin tells a great story from many different perspectives and calls into question the motives of those around Max and the struggles they must have gone through.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...