Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: The Universe versus Alex Woods

Ever felt underestimated?

Alex Woods was hit by a meteorite -- scarred for life and prone to epilepsy attacks -- but his wit and outstanding intelligence remained unscathed. Try telling people that. Poor Alex had no friends until he met Mr. Peterson. The only man to glance at him without pity and treat him like an average teen. So how could Alex, at seventeen, be found with Mr. Peterson's car, a bag full of pot and an urn full of ashes. What exactly did Mr. Peterson teach him?

To refer to this book as Gavin Extence's debut novel feels preposterous. His writing is beyond amateur level which explains why he's been getting so much praise. Not only did he tackle bullying, mother/teen relationships, overcoming shyness around girls; he also discussed euthanasia and faith in the unknown. He did it without being preachy. He did it with class. Teaching us new words, and how to dissect Kurt Vonnegut's novels along the way.

Instead of giving us a perfect Alex Woods, Extence also allowed us to see his bad side. Teenagers don't always appreciate what their mothers do for them. A lot can be learned from adults at that age if we learn to communicate, and this book is a fair example.


  1. I've not heard about this book but it sounds interesting. "A lot can be learned from adults at that age if we learn to communicate" yup so true. Sometimes I wonder if things will be a lot easier and less complicated if we just sit down and talk things out instead of the silence treatment =(

  2. I know :( Silent treatments never work. People are too afraid to feel judged or misunderstood.