Friday 11 December 2020

Blog Tour- Brand New Boy


Daniel is an ordinary boy who goes to an ordinary school with ordinary friends. That is until George shows up. George is a new boy who gets put in Daniel’s class, and although he seems friendly enough something about him is a little… odd. At first, Daniel doesn’t think much of it. I mean everyone is a little odd in their own ways right? However Daniel soon discovers the shocking truth about George which changes the lives of him and his friends forever!

So today is my stop on the Brand New Boy blog tour! I thought I’d share my thoughts on this interesting and thought-provoking middle-grade book. Honestly, I have no idea how I’m going to write this review without giving away the big reveal that happens in the middle of the book as I just want to rant about all the things but I’ll do my best to keep it spoiler-free! 

 The book follows Daniel, a young boy who goes to an average primary school in Newcastle. However, things change for Daniel when a strange boy shows up accompanied by an equally strange lady. I loved the introduction of George, as it wasn’t immediately clear that something was weird with him. Being put in the spotlight in front of the whole school when you’re the new kid would make anyone feel awkward, and people have different responses to being put in an uncomfortable situation. To me, George just seemed to be a little overwhelmed and I wasn’t particularly suspicious about him until we got to know him a little better. It started to become obvious that George wasn’t “normal” as time went on, but Daniel and his friends start to question what normal even is. I loved how the kids tried to befriend George even though he seemed strange to them. Kids who don’t immediately fit in tend to get bullied, so I loved that everyone was interested in George and wanted to befriend him rather than deciding to be mean to him. 

 This book was honestly a big existential crisis. Daniel questions things such as why they follow orders from teachers, and why they do the exact same thing every day and sit in tiny square classrooms sitting at tiny square desks. It really made me start to think about these kinds of things myself. Who makes us do these things and why do we do them? It’s too easy to get into a spiral of questions on our existence when we think about it too deeply, but I think we all have these thoughts from time to time. I loved how it delved into the question of what makes us human really. Is it our emotions? Our ability to think for ourselves and learn new experiences? What makes us different from say a cat or a computer or a robot? I loved the discussions about artificial intelligence, as this is something that we are seeing more and more of in the modern world. Although we are not quite at the point where we see robots walking around in our day to day lives, technology is certainly heading that way, and if on day robots can feel emotions, would that make them human? This book honestly made me think about so many things that I really wasn’t expecting from a Middle-Grade book! 

 I adored the friendships in this book, and how easily the kids invited George into their friend circle. Even after learning how George was different from them, they treated him like everyone else and tried to help him as best as they could. They were put into a situation they had never even thought about before and handled it brilliantly. It was heartwarming to see them be so kind and thoughtful towards George when some of the adults saw him as nothing more than an experiment. Even though George was with them for such a short time, they made sure he had positive experiences and that he knew they were his friends. Kids are often more open minded than adults, so it was nice to see how they treated him despite knowing so little about him.

 So what is George exactly? Is he a robot? An alien? A shapeshifter?A hologram? A glitch in the matrix? Well you’re just going to have to read the book to find out! However, I do promise it’s nothing too sinister and it may just include some Sci-Fi themes! There are a few hints in the book towards what George is, and I did manage to figure out what it was before it was properly revealed by the way he acted, so even though I’m not giving anything away I didn’t really find it too shocking. It wasn’t really something I was expecting going into the book though so I was still somewhat surprised.

 I overall loved this book and loved the themes of love and acceptance, and the thought-provoking themes of humanity and our existence. I also adored the illustrations and I felt like they really helped to tell the story.  Although David is obviously a very popular author I’ve never actually read any of his books before, so this one has definitely made me want to read more! I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this book so I definitely recommend it!

Brand New Boy is now available to purchase!