Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: The Boy Who Fell to Earth
AUTHOR: A. Zukowski
LENGTH: 276 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2017
Jay Palmer is two months away from his sixteenth birthday. He doesn’t realise how his life will be changed forever when a gang of thugs leaves a badly injured boy on his doorstep. The biracial boy and his white single mum Maggie nurse the stranger, sixteen-year-old Aleksander Zukowski, also known as Sasha. Sasha ran away from care two and half years ago. He sleeps rough, is addicted to drugs and sells himself on the streets of London to fund his habit. For the first time in his life, he has a reason to change.
Sasha confirms what Jay already knows about himself but it doesn’t make it easy for him to come out to his macho mates in a largely black neighbourhood. Sasha has an uphill struggle to stay clean when his past threatens to throw him back into the abyss. Are the two boys strong enough to stay together against all odds?
WARNING: possible triggers. Rapes scenes
I am still reeling from this book. What a powerful story. I could not put this book down. My emotions are all over the place. This is one of those books that draws you into the story until you feel like you are a part of it.
I have to tell you right now, this is not a romance. There is some romance in the story but overall it’s not. And if you have triggers for things such a rape or drugs then you might not want to read it. If they are not a trigger, then I recommend reading this as soon as possible.
This story is very character driven with Sasha making the biggest impact. He ripped my heart out in this book. Not him, per se, but the life he has had to endure. I first got to see a beaten Sasha through Jay’s eyes. Then as the book goes on, little by little we learn things about Sasha that are just horrid. And we learn why he is the way he is. From all the abuse he endured to why he stays on drugs. His story is truly heartbreaking and when you stop to think about it, so very true.I love that author has made it clear how rough and harsh life can be. For many kids, life is not all sunshine and roses. Life gives them, to be quite blunt, a shitty hand.
But what I also love about this is the underlying message in it all. Never give up and don’t lose hope. During everything that happened to Sasha and all he was still dealing with, Jay never gave up hope on him. Sasha relapsed several times while trying to get better, but life kept coming at him from all directions. Jay was Sasha’s rock. Even when he didn’t know it. There were times when Jay didn’t get to see Sasha and it tore him apart. But he never stopped loving him and never stopped being there. And for Sasha, even in his worst possible times, so drugged out he didn’t even know who he really was, he remembered Jay. And he finally tells Jay everything. He also realizes how much he truly loves Jay and wants to get better. I know most people say you have to get better for yourself, but sometimes you need another reason. That was Sasha’s case.
I wish I could tell you the whole story here and now but I can’t. You need to read it for yourself. It is a story that will leave you breathless and often in tears. It is a story that will make you think. And I hope to whoever reads this book, that you remember, life isn’t always great for everyone. When you see someone in think streets who is homeless, or especially these kids who are drugged up and doing anything they can to survive, maybe you can remember not to judge too harshly. Sometimes just being there and not giving up on someone is what they need to survive and move on. To have a better life. To feel they are worth more than garbage on a street. They need that message of hope and to never give up.