Finley lives in Belmont, a town plagued by gangs, violence and racial tension. He lives in a small home with his dad and elderly grandfather. Finley dreams of two things: basketball and leaving Belmont with his basketball-playing girlfriend, Erin. Everything is set for Finley to have a good senior year and basketball season when Russ moves to Belmont.
Russ is a high school basketball celebrity who has attracted the attention of media and colleges across the country. Russ not only plays Finley’s position on the court but also believes his name is Boy 21 and he is from outer space. His arrival throws Finley’s life out of balance. But as Finley befriends Russ he learns there is more to him than appears and less to other people that he once admired.
Matthew Quick does a fantastic job creating characters that are endearing and relatable. Even if you have no interest in basketball, this book has wonderful facets that will pull you in.
Rated: Mild. There is some gang-related violence but most is talked about in retrospect. Quick has so far done a great job writing young adult books that are actually appropriate for young adults.