Review: The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

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 and 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, and illness; plus there’s quite a bit of info about astronomy and neurology thrown in. 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 stand out in his small town –– as if being hit by a meteorite hadn’t put him into the spotlight enough. Mr. Peterson is 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. 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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