Literary fiction is not my ‘go to’ genre when picking out a book, but Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin was another one of those books recommended by Cosmo this summer. I’m so glad this book finally came in at the library. To sum up my feeling’s about this book: I’m a slow reader; I read the entire 343-page book in two days.
Golden Boy follows the story of a kid named Max. Max is perfect. He’s good at football (soccer), he’s popular in school (especially with the girls), he’s very attractive (a heart-breaker), and (much to the dismay of his 10-year-old brother) he’s his parents’ favorite child. But Max has a secret, a secret his family never talks about, and growing-up is about to get very real for him in a way he never thought was possible.
The thing about this book that made me unable to put it down was how much I was able to feel for each of the characters, especially Max. All I’ve cared about for the last two days was what was going to happen to him. My heart was breaking for him all the way through. I know that’s silly; he’s a fictional character. But Tarttelin’s writing style, and the voice she gives Max, makes it so easy to sympathize with him and care for him and just want everything to be okay. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that attached to a character.
This book is definitely going on my list of favorites. And to be clear, it’s a short list. There are only three other books in my 25-ish years of reading that have made it to this esteemed rank. After reading Golden Boy, the list has been extended to four.