Book Reviews

One of the Boys Review


Title: One of the Boys

Author: Daniel Magariel

Published: March 14, 2017 by by Scribner

Format: Digital ARC

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

Reading Period: January 10-11, 2017

Rating: ★★★★☆


A riveting and emotionally harrowing debut about two young brothers and their physically and psychologically abusive father—One of the Boys is 176 perfect, stunning pages by a major new talent.

The three of them—a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father—have won the war: the father’s term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps—the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters—become sinister, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then violent.

Set in the sublimely stark landscape of suburban New Mexico and a cramped apartment shut tight to the world, One of the Boys conveys with stunning prose and chilling clarity a young boy’s struggle to hold onto the dangerous pieces of his shattered family. Harrowing and beautiful, Daniel Magariel’s masterful debut is a story of survival: two foxhole-weary brothers banding together to protect each other from the father they once trusted, but no longer recognize. With the emotional core of A Little Life and the compact power of We the Animals, One of the Boys is among the most moving and remarkable debut novels you’ll ever read.


Thank you Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for an advanced free digital copy of this book.

I’ve finished reading but I still don’t know the name of the protagonist.

This book is a heartbreak. At 12-year old, he experienced a lot. He was traumatized and abused yet he still love his father so much and wants his approval. He wants to prove that he is “one of the boys”. Almost every page ripped my heart. Reading how he was abused and hurt was hard. But reading how he’s father asked for their forgiveness after what he did was the hardest. I will certainly recommend this novel to my friends.

Congratulations Daniel Magariel for this wonderful story. I really enjoyed reading it though it broke my heart.

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