Title: The Universe Versus Alex Woods
Author: Gavin Extence
Genre: Humor, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Source: Netgalley- Received in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
"A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ..."
Alex is bizarre, to put it simply. At the age of ten, he was struck in the head by a meteorite, bringing on a few health conditions such as epilepsy. Despite his bizarre-ness, Alex is a lovable, yet geeky, character who will make you laugh and cry.
When Alex inadvertently ends up in Mr Peterson’s greenhouse, he is forced to pay off the damage by working and helping Mr Peterson with household chores and the such. This sparks a very odd, memorable, and special friendship between Mr Peterson and Alex.
This book is told from Alex’s point of view, as he chronicles his life up to the point where he is stopped in Dover with a urn of ashes and 113 grams of marijuana. Having been taken by the police, Alex tries to explain why and how he ended up in that situation. This story is about an unlikely friendship, death, illness, and there’s quite a bit of info about astronomy and neurology. But don’t think that this book was boring in any way because of the astronomy and neurology-it only adds to the story! The Universe Versus Alex Woods was highly humorous and heartbreaking-a great read!
Overall: I loved this book. Alex is witty, curious, and geeky- a perfect combination that makes him standout in his small town- as if being hit by a meteorite hadn’t put him into the spotlight enough. Mr. Peterson was cranky, old, and later- ill, yet he was still one of my favorite characters. The Universe Versus Alex Woods reminded me of John Green’s books- not in the same genre/voice, but in the way that it makes you feel and think. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of John Green or is interested in realistic and witty books about teenagers.
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