Today is my stop on the blog tour for a very special book. A Boy Made of Blocks has been out for some time in eBook but the publishers are doing a tour to mark the release in paperback.
My 5* review:
It isn’t often that I give a book 5 stars when I nearly gave up reading it. When the book starts it seems like it is going to be very similar to another book, Shtum, a book that was ok but in my opinion (which seems different to many others), not great. I was not keen to read a book that was so alike. I kept going though and I’m so pleased that I did, sure it was a bit slow to get going but once I got into it I loved it.
A Boy Made of Blocks tells the story of Alex, his wife has asked him to leave, she needs some space and time to work out what she wants from the relationship. Sleeping on the floor in a friend’s spare room Alex finds that maybe it was him that needed the time apart to get himself together.
Alex has spent his life running, running from the haunting memories of his brother’s death as a child and the guilt that he carries as a result. His relationship with Jody was fast forwarded when she got pregnant and Alex found himself with a mortgage and a baby who as he grew became more and more difficult until finally the diagnosis of autism was given.
So when Alex found himself lying on the floor and thinking about his life he was forced to face the reality of how he had thrown himself into a job that he hated but was rather good at, in order to keep himself from dealing with his son, Sam, and the consequences of his diagnosis.
The author clearly has personal experience of autism, and I loved how he wrote about it in this book, it was very matter of fact and honest. If I’d known how much the book talks about the computer game Minecraft then I might have been further put off reading it, but I didn’t know for that I’m grateful. I still only know what the book told me about it but the game became a character in itself in the book, it was very well written.
I’m sure that you won’t be surprised to read that Alex changed as the book went on, that his relationship with Sam changed, it was so beautiful to read about Alex’s journey of self-discovery and love for his son. In fact, as Alex found his love for his son so did I as the reader.
I could gush a bit more but I won’t. A Boy Made of Blocks is a well written debut that takes the reader on a journey with the characters. It really is something special.
I received a copy of A Boy Made of Blocks from the publishers but I was under no obligation to review it.
In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.
Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.
As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.
Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.