Boy Toy was disturbing and heartbreaking and completely unexpected. Five years ago, Josh had a sexual relationship with his History teacher. He was just twelve when it happened, but now he's getting ready to graduate from high school and she's being released from prison early. Josh has no idea how to feel about that. His parents are concerned, his friends are concerned, but Josh is confused. He's never told anyone exactly what happened. In fact, he's avoided most social contact other than his best friend. So when he finally does tell, he realizes something: he was molested.
I know what you're thinking, how could Josh not know that he was molested when he was there. I was wondering this same thing when I went into Boy Toy. Maybe it was repressed memories, or he wasn't conscious of the events. But no. It goes beyond that, and it kind of broke my heart to see him realize this. Josh never fully opened up about what took place between him and Eve; not to his therapist, not to the police. Nobody knew how the relationship really got started, because he kept that to himself. I can't say that I was shocked when the truth finally came out. I more had a moment where I felt kind of sick, because Josh had no idea for all this time. He's been harboring a lot of guilt for something that wasn't his fault.
Boy Toy kind of alternates between past and present to give us the full story. It opens up with when Josh's life changed forever, which is not when the affair started. It was an incident with another girl that really showed just how damaged Josh was from what his teacher did to him. Then it goes through him trying to sort out how he feels about her being free. Will he run into her? Does he want to run into her? Then he tells the story of when he first saw Eve, up until when he last saw her. And OMG, it was...I don't even know. It's not like she came right out and seduced him. She used school work as a way to gain his trust as well as his parents', and then things just kind of developed as they spent more and more time alone together.
There were times when I felt like Eve really did care about Josh, but then I had to mentally slap myself! No! She is twenty-four years old and he's twelve! That is creepy and disgusting! Sure Josh looks older and he's more mature, but he's a kid! And she was training him to be her perfect lover (seriously, she teaches him EVERYTHING)! And now Josh is all kinds of nervous about dating girls, because all he knows is what Eve liked and he's afraid that if he starts anything physical, it'll be the wrong thing, and the girl will be scared off. And it's just awful!
Boy Toy made me so uncomfortable at times, because Josh, as a young boy, really had feelings for Eve and she took advantage of him. Maybe she loved him, maybe she just wanted a living sex toy. I don't know. But everything about their situation was screwed up, even if it was consensual. My only complaint is that I got really annoyed with Josh constantly updating us on his baseball statistics. He's a math genius and a great baseball player, but it got old, fast. Other than that, this one was pretty fantastic, in an unsettling, eye-opening kind of way.
Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.