Boys of the Beast

Tu Bks. Mar. 2022. 304p. Tr $20.95. ISBN 9781643790954.
Gr 9 Up–Zepeda uses her own life experiences to weave a realistic tale in a road trip novel. This book tackles several important themes, such as mental illness, developing first relationships, and finding one’s own voice as a soon-to-be adult. Matt, Ethan, and Oscar are cousins who barely know each other, besides being connected through the Latino roots of their moms. At the funeral for Grandma Lupe, the boys decide they could all benefit from a road trip from Portland, OR, to Albuquerque, NM, in their grandmother’s Thunderbird. Each cousin has his own journey to work through: Matt wants to find his voice as an Evangelical Christian and follow his passion of becoming a filmmaker, Ethan wants to meet a boy he met online that he feels strongly about but isn’t sure those feelings will translate into real life, and Oscar wants to run away from his emotions related to major trauma. Despite their differences, the three bond and help each other grapple with their growth, forming a family bond sure to make their grandmother proud. Zepeda spends some time throughout the novel exploring the boys’ Latino identity, especially in an encounter with law enforcement.
VERDICT A good addition to any library with a healthy circulation of teen male readers and those who enjoy road trip novels.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing