The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Alex Woods has always been different. When he was 11, he was hit in the head with a meteorite. It went right through the roof of his house, and bashed him in the head. Obviously he survived, but he did begin to suffer seizures as a result. As you can imagine, having seizures does not make you popular.

His mother (he doesn't even know who his father is) runs a local shop that carries charms, talismans, ingredients for spells, books on wicca, candles for covens, sage for get the idea. This, also, does not make you popular.

When he meets Mr. Peterson, through a series of unfortunate events, and is introduced to the wonderful author Kurt Vonnegut, and prefers reading on the bus to other types of social activities...well you get the picture. Mr. Peterson is a widower in his 60s, and soon becomes Alex's best friend.

All this is well and good until Mr. Peterson contracts a fatal illness. It's clear that the end will not be pleasant, and he will die trapped in his own body. The two hatch a scheme that takes them through Germany, into Switzerland, and may involve hydroponics. What do you do when the universe is against you? You make your own rules. That is exactly what Alex intends to do.

Excellently written, thoughtful, insightful, and of course - who doesn't love the Vonnegut references!! I recommend this for older teens, or 11 year-olds who are older than their years.
“When I read these books, I no longer felt like I was confined to a very tiny world. I no longer felt housebound or bedbound. Really, I told myself, I was just brainbound, and this was not such a sorry state of affairs. My brain, with a little help from other peoples brains, could take me to some pretty interesting places, and create all kinds of wonderful things. Despite its faults, my brain, I decided, was not the worst place in the world to be,” (Extence, 2013).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Winger by Andrew Smith
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Extence, Gavin. (2013). The Universe Versus Alex Woods. New York, NY: Redhook.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the best and most memorable books I have read for some time - very warmly recommended indeed.