AUTHOR: Kevin Brooks
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: Penguin // 2010
NUMBER OF PAGES: 290
PERSONAL SOURCE: Borrowed from my boyfriend
Tom Harvey was just a regular, normal, slightly OK-not-OK 16 year old when it happened. An iPhone, thrown from 30 stories up, split open his skull. Tom woke up in hospital, generally feeling normal… until something started to hum in his brain. Tom becomes iBoy, trying to find out who committed a horrible crime against his friend, Lucy, and, against all of his conscience, he sets out to punish them.
So iBoy wasn’t really what I expected it to be – in a good way. It dealt with horrifying issues like gang rape, and was also really funny and unputdownable. I enjoyed reading it for both the content and the way in which it was written and read the whole thing in one evening!
To start with, let’s look at Tom, or iBoy. He has some pretty cool powers and reminded me of an X-Man, to be fair. He could search the internet in his brain, and send and receive calls – in his brain. I think that’s pretty awesome. Obviously there’s the cliché of with great power comes great responsibility, and it was interesting in that Tom didn’t seem to take this seriously – at all. He gets a guy stabbed because of what he did with his new found powers! I mean, jeez. But this – Tom’s power – is obviously an integral part of the plot, and I liked how Brooks has shown that not every cool power a character in a book gets means its a good power for them to have.
The character development of Tom was both interesting and backwards, because he seemed to lose his conscience the more the book went on, and even though he was trying to fight to stay human, he seemed to adopt two different identities of the original Tom and iBoy – the character even starts to refer to himself in the 3rd person. The things that kept Tom grounded were his grandma – Gram – and Lucy, his friend who Tom fancies. I did like this more “human” side of him being portrayed and kept being referred to throughout the book, especially as it showed Tom losing this side of himself to develop into almost a psychopathic hero.
There is a lot of not-very-nice violence in this book – actually, I was almost taken aback with how violent it was. There’s gang rape, shootings, stabbings, and explosions which kill, as well as people just getting beaten up. AKA – not for younger readers. Although I felt like the violence did fit in really well in the book. There were a few parts where I wondered if it were necessary but all in all I felt like it did work well with the plot.
Overall therefore this was an action-packed 5* read, and I would recommend it but probably only to those 14-15 and over. It’s a unisex read which is refreshing for me (I’m having a bit of a girly reading month…) and I’d just like to thank my lovely boyfriend Jake for lending it me!