Book review – Boy Oh Boy (Spoiler Free)

“You decide to order a new boyfriend. You don’t exactly need a new boyfriend, not yet. Your old one is just fine. Sure, he’s running a little hot these days, his fan whirs a little loudly, his memory a little slower than you would find on new models. But in all the particulars, he’s serviceable.”

  • Title: Boy Oh Boy
  • Author: Zachary Doss
  • Genre: Short fiction, LGBTQIA+
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publication date: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press

I didn’t realize how early I got this book until I started writing this blog post. I got Boy Oh Boy back in March at AWP. One of the sales people stopped me and spoke highly of it. I had only read a handful of short fiction pieces before, and I’m always curious when writers use the second person, so I got the book.

Out of everything, Zachary used the second person wonderfully. I never had any problems with it, and it brought the reader closer to the emotional side of the story.

Each story starts out with “your boyfriend.” Whether it’s your boyfriend got a new job to your boyfriend got a pet. But it never stays that simple. Each story twists and turns from the normal into a dark, comedic way. It brings in different aspects of what can happen in a relationship (like jealousy) and stretches it into an overarching metaphor. They were crafted well.

I will say that while the stories changed every time and seemed different, the core stayed the same. There is a theme of broken relationships mixed in various ways. I didn’t know exactly how each story would end, but I didn’t have any hope for a happy ending. If that makes sense. It got predictable in that way.

Some stories stood out from others, but I think that was because I connected with those stories more rather than because of how they were told. Some were only a page while others were closer to twenty pages long.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The author used second person in a creative and interesting way. It made me think about my own writing a bit. If you’re looking for a short, quick read, you’d like this one.

Score: 8.5/10
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.47/5

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