Ostrich: a novel by Matt Greene


I really wanted to like this book. After all, it was toted as a coming-of-age story which was very similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which I loved. So I figured I would give it a chance. And it did start out like it, but then the similarity ended pretty quickly. I got really bored with the book about 50 or so pages in, but kept hoping it would get better. It kept getting weirder and weirder. The writing style definitely changed between the beginning and the end. The book was told in a stream of consciousness, but through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, which just made it seem more disjointed. As I have no experience as a boy, maybe they do think like that, I don’t know. I’m still not 100% sure if what I think happened in the end happened or if I’m reading too much into it.

Alex is a 13 year old boy with a brain tumor, and has epilepsy as a result. As a result, he is sort of like an ostrich, the odd-man out. He is in middle school and about to transition into high school, but he talks like a seen and done it all adult. Alex is a great student and trying to get into a good secondary school with the help of a scholarship. Some of his observations are hilarious, and make for some great quotes. Like this one “I can swear in sixty-seven different languages. But I can apologize in only three, which means I could get beaten up in sixty-four countries.”

His parents are having a tough time dealing with his medical problems, and Alex spends most of the book trying to decide if one of his parents is having an affair and what exactly the other one is doing in the dark room. There is something wrong with his hamster, Jaws 2, and he can’t seem to figure out what is really going on between him and Chloe Gower, a girl whose been paying more and more attention to him lately. Will he be able to figure out what is really going on with his parents, Chloe and Jaws 2? Will he get into a good school? To find out, read this intriguing debut novel from Matt Greene. Recommended for ages 16+, 2 1/2 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.