The Twelve Fingered Boy by Jacob Horner Jacobs

This young adult novel had a super distinct voice that I thought was a lot of fun. It’s about a smart ass kid in a juvenile detention facility, who gets a mysterious new roommate with six fingers on each hand. There’s something special about the new boy, which sets them off on a supernatural adventure. Chased by authorities, they have to look after each other in a world that doesn’t care about them. We also see a lot of the protaganist’s home life, and the circumstances that led him to juvie in the first place. It does a really impressive job mingling the gritty parts of his real life with the paranormal adventure. It uses the word rape to describe mind control, which is sort of not good, but also there aren’t a lot of words to describe that sort of violation. I’d be more upset if it wasn’t such a good fit coming from the point of view of a fifteen year old boy. As a good feminist™ I could get more worked up about this, but it feels like a waste of energy. It was a misstep, but ultimately I still thought the book was pretty great. It’s very dark considering it’s a young adult novel. I’m pretty sure I would have loved it as a teenager. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel that just came out, and seeing where this story is headed.

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