Boy Toy

Boy Toy

by Barry Lyga

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547076348
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/05/2009
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 428,026
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 16 Years

About the Author

Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek and the author of many books, including The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, Goth Girl Rising, Boy Toy, and Hero-Type for HMH, Wolverine: Worst Day Ever for Marvel Books, and Archvillian for Scholastic. He has also written comic books about everything from sword-wielding nuns to alien revolutionaries. He worked as marketing manager at Diamond Comic Distributers for ten years. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.Visit Barry online at www.barrylyga.com.

Read an Excerpt

Ten Things I Learned at the Age of Twelve
1. The Black Plague was transmitted by fleas that were carried throughout Europe by rats.
2. If you first paralyze it, you can cut open a frog and watch its lungs continue to inflate and deflate.
3. There are seven forms of the verb to be: am, being, been, is, was, were, and are.
4. In order to divide fractions, you invert the divisor to arrive at the reciprocal, which is then multiplied by the dividend. (Mixed fractions must first be converted to improper fractions.) 5. In Salem, the witches weren’t burned at the stake—they were pressed to death under big rocks . . . or hanged.
6. Islam was founded in the year 610. It is the third of three world religions worshiping the same God.
7. Each point on a “coordinate plane” (created by the joining of an x-axis and a y-axis) can be described by an ordered pair of numbers.
8. “Monotheism” is a belief system centered on a single deity, while “polytheism” subscribes to belief in multiple deities.
9. The area of a circle can be determined by using the formula pr2, where r is the radius of the circle.
10. How to please a woman.

Customer Reviews

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Boy Toy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In BOY TOY, author Barry Lyga takes readers on an incredible journey into a world that, for some, like main character Josh Mendel, is all too real. Josh's life was changed at age twelve when his teacher took the role of educator far beyond the limits of acceptable behavior. Lyga's story does not cut corners or mince words. He is straightforward and direct in telling Josh's story. His graphic descriptions may have earned him criticism, but they have also made his story a powerful one.

Josh Mendel loves baseball. He is a wiz at math. His best friend, Zik, seems to be the one with the rocky home life and all the problems, but not for long.

Mrs. Evelyn Sherman is the new history teacher recently transferred from the local high school to the middle school. She is drop-dead gorgeous. All the boys probably find it a bit embarrassing to stand up and leave the classroom some days. Josh certainly does.

Josh's involvement with Mrs. Sherman begins when she praises his writing and asks him to help her with a project for her graduate class. Honored and excited, Josh is eager to help. Problems at home make staying after school, and later actually going home with Mrs. Sherman, a convenience for Josh and his parents. He begins spending more and more time with her even after her project is complete.

At first, being in Mrs. Sherman's apartment everyday after school is exciting, because Josh gets to play unlimited video games, drink Coke, and hang out with an attentive, beautiful woman. His time in the apartment becomes even more fascinating when Mrs. Sherman begins inviting him to help her cook dinner and sip wine with her. Then kisses begin - tentative and then passionate. The passion moves from petting to full-on sexual experimentation.

Josh is addicted. There are feelings of guilt, but those feelings are outweighed by the incredible physical pleasure Mrs. Sherman offers. Life is spiraling out of control.

The world comes crashing down when Josh finds himself playing spin the bottle with Rachel. He and Rachel have been friends on the baseball field for as long as he can remember, but when Josh's newfound experience turns the innocent teenage game too sexually explicit, Rachel runs screaming to her parents. The "game" is over, and Josh's secret is about to come out in the open.

BOY TOY is not a short romp between the sheets. In fact, it has raised many eyebrows in the world of YA literature. Readers will see exactly what went on with Mrs. Sherman, but they will also see deeply into the world of a young man trying to continue with life, make amends to his friends, and make plans for his future. It has a strong, powerful story to tell, and it tells that story well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boy was the dust jacket misleading on this one! Thinking to read a light and fluffy story about a young man who is used as arm candy for the socialite girls of a high school, I stepped waist deep into the waters of female teacher to male student molestation. Was it an excellent book? Unquestionably. The story of seduction and the life afterwards is told by Josh Mendel, the victim who takes full responsibility for what an adult did to him when he was twelve years old. This story is not for the faint of heart or the censors who would find the sexual history a little too graphic for comfort. At the end, though, the reader is left breathless by the brutal honesty, but hopeful that the main character is going to be okay. In a day and age of Mary Kaye Le Tourneau and other female predators, this controversial topic is worth reading. Boys are frequently overlooked as the victims of sexual abuse, and this gently probes all of the painful layers that this particular offense affects. I recommend it, though suggest that teachers who want to use it as part of the curriculum do so with caution and much dialogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All i can say is wow i got hooked from the start ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good. I couldn't put it down i literally finished in a day! I highly recommend this book, but onlu for older teens and adults. Enjoy!
ReadergirlReviews More than 1 year ago
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga has to be one of the most disturbing but great books I've ever read. The subject matter is unsettling, to say the least, but the way the author handled it amazed me. The fact that this subject was handled so delicately and exertly by a male writer was phenomenal. The story begins with 12 year old Josh carrying a private crush on his History teacher, Eve. Large for his age, Josh is sucked into a very adult and inappropriate relationship with Eve. The truth emerges when Josh attends a birthday party for one of his friends, Rachel, and a game of spin the bottle gets out of hand. Due to his actions in this scenario, Josh's secrets comes out to devastating results. Now, years later, Josh is 17 and about to graduate high school without ever having a normal, healthy relationship, especially not one with a girl his own age. He is angry and hostile, and fights his own inner feelings about Eve, even while battling a growing attraction to the very girl, Rachel, who started the downfall of his affair long ago. Being inside Josh's head as he battles his inner thoughts, desires, guilt, and new feelings is inspiring, unsettling, and at times, very uncomfortable. Although this book is labeled for teens, I would definitely not recommend it for younger teens, as the nature of the subject matter is very adult, and some of the scenes are extremely frank and gratuitous. This story, however, is definitely worth the read. I had a very difficult time putting it down and ended up reading it in one sitting. At the end of the book, you find yourself feeling sad for Josh's discoveries, but also very satisfied for his future.
jessloves2read More than 1 year ago
i had recently read the summary of this book and automatically put it into my shopping cart... i couldn't wait to read it. Once i received it i couldn't put it down. I was getting yelled at back and forth because i wouldn't DARE put the book down. I finished it in a day and a half. I've NEVER in my life read a book so fast. and i read A LOT! I could believe the realness of the book and i truly felt like i was in Josh's mind when reading. I'm so happy i got this book and i would ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND IT! yeah there some graphic parts in the book so if u can't take detailed sexual situations then i would advise u dont read it, but other then that READ IT!!
packratx More than 1 year ago
Boy Toy tackles some serious subjects and themes, and certain sections are downright uncomfortable. But Lyga handles these difficult issues with dignity and heart, perfectly balancing the severity of the situations with the snarky sarcasm of the characters. It makes you laugh, cringe, and even want to cry...but most of all it makes you think. It's the kind of story that sticks with you long after the book is over, and makes you go back and reread it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is so much to say about this book but i dont know where to start and am left speechless. the story is real and unforgettable with it all coming together in the end leaving you with a haunting feeling for more but not. This isn't a story about the forbidden teacher/student love that many fantisize about, this story is the realism behind what actually goes down between an adult teacher and a young student that you might not have realized was there. Its a great read and i couldn't put it down once i started. it definitely was not what i expected but i would still recommened it to mature readers who love to hear a good story with all the details you wanted to know about a situation like this and all the ones you didn't.
bookwormMA More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this incredible book to avid, mature readers who can bhandle some very risky subjects. I fell in love with this book, and its realistic writing. It felt like I was in the room with Mrs.sherman, and Josh. I was amazed at the subject of this book. It really makes you stop and think about things. I praise the author for writing such a book, because I haven't found one like this before, and I think that it was an important story that needed to be told. It really touched me, and changed my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i absoulutly loved this book. it was AMAZINGLY written. i finished it in 2 days. i felt like a actually new the characters and it was an amazing story that really brings to light some tough issues to talk about. highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boy Toy was such an intriguing read. The author is so real and raw, and has a honest concept of what teens actually think and act. When reading this book you almost couldn't believe it. I love how it flips from the past and the present, and in the beggining only gives you tid bits of information, as if daring you to keep reading to find out what REALLY happened. Barry Lyga is a wonderful author, and if you've read The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl and enjoyed it, you will like Boy Toy 10X better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm the type of person where if the first page doesn't interest me, I put the book down and never pick it up agian. This was NOT one of those books. It was captivating and riveting, and from the first page, I just couldn't stop reading it. I loved it. I actually felt as if I was watching this whole disaster unfold right in front of me instead of reading about it.I loved it so much, I gave it to my friend, who read it in like 2 days. If you want to read a brilliantly written book, READ HIS BOOK. You won't regret it, I swear!!!
chibimajo on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Josh was 'sexually molested' during his seventh grade year by his very attractive female history teacher. It started VERY slow, she would take him home after school and he would play video games while she corrected papers, etc. Until just before Christmas, when they started making out. And then eventually having sex. And then in March (I think), the story comes out and a trial begins. Much of this story is told in flashbacks, from five years later. Josh goes to a therapist on a regular basis still, but has never opened up enough to truly start the healing process. Compelling and grotesque at the same time.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book was disturbing and super compelling. I seriously could not put it down. The story starts when Josh is 18. He's messed up. No, I mean really messed up. When he was 12, his history teacher sexually abused him. And what's worse? Her detailed confession made its way on to the internet and Josh is sure that all of his classmates and teachers know exactly what he did with her. And what's WORSE? Mrs. Sherman is getting out of jail. Early. Right now. Because of the abuse, Josh made a mistake with one of his friends. Rachel liked him, but he didn't know how to deal with it and an innocent game of Seven Minutes in Heaven (well, somewhat innocent anyway) ended disastrously. Rachel hasn't spoken to him in 5 years. Math, baseball, and his best friend Zik (who has never, ever asked him about what happened with Mrs. Sherman) are the things that get him through the day. Then Josh accidentally runs into Rachel one night and they start talking again. Josh begins to tell her his story. The whole story. The story he never told anyone except the police. It's a roller coaster of emotions and even though Josh's story was truly disturbing, I couldn't put it down. I had to get to the end so I could see if he survived, if he could overcome what happened to him. This book is not for everyone. Graphic sexual situations between a teacher and her student will be hard to take for some. But it's a very powerful story. I was rooting for Josh the whole way through.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing 10 months ago
There is nothing comfortable about this book. I was completely pulled into Josh's world - both young Josh, believing he is seducing his teacher, and teen Josh, just barely surviving in a world where his most private affairs are a matter of public record. The horror of Josh's months of abuse is almost overshadowed by the resulting years of emotional exclusion by his parents, teachers and peers.Even reading with an adult's eye, I felt my opinions also change as Josh reevaluated his views on love, family, and friendship.I'd give this to older teens interested in realistic fiction.
MeriJenBen on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Josh, athletic and smart is, now a senior in High School. Josh was manipulated into a sexual relationship with his teacher, Eve, when he was 12 years old. Despite years of councilling, Josh still suffers guilt and shame surrounding the events. When he learns that Eve is being paroled, it sets off a series of climatic events. This is a book of extremely powerful moments, that make the entire book seem better than it actually is. The flashback scenes, in which Josh describes his relationship with Eve, are the most arresting, as the reader understands the situation in ways that Josh cannot. The scenes after the relationship is discovered, in particular, are very vivid. The part of the book set in the present is much weaker, as Lyga can't seem to decide what he wants us to thinkg. Josh is not particuarly likeable or sympathetic, and in some ways that works to the book's advantage, as it throws the reader off kilter. On the other hand, it does make you sympathise with those who dislike him. Josh's obsession with baseball statistics fell flat for me, as I don't know enough about baseball to have them inform the text, nor do I care enough to find out. The ending of this book was a little to pat, a little to perfect. Much has been made about the sex scenes in this book, which I will say, strayed too far into bodice-ripper territory for me.
TheTaleTemptress on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga has to be one of the most disturbing but great books I've ever read. The subject matter is unsettling, to say the least, but the way the author handled it amazed me. The fact that this subject was handled so delicately and exertly by a male writer was phenomenal.The story begins with 12 year old Josh carrying a private crush on his History teacher, Eve. Large for his age, Josh is sucked into a very adult and inappropriate relationship with Eve. The truth emerges when Josh attends a birthday party for one of his friends, Rachel, and a game of spin the bottle gets out of hand. Due to his actions in this scenario, Josh's secrets comes out to devastating results.Now, years later, Josh is 17 and about to graduate high school without ever having a normal, healthy relationship, especially not one with a girl his own age. He is angry and hostile, and fights his own inner feelings about Eve, even while battling a growing attraction to the very girl, Rachel, who started the downfall of his affair long ago. Being inside Josh's head as he battles his inner thoughts, desires, guilt, and new feelings is inspiring, unsettling, and at times, very uncomfortable. Although this book is labeled for teens, I would definitely not recommend it for younger teens, as the nature of the subject matter is very adult, and some of the scenes are extremely frank and gratuitous. This story, however, is definitely worth the read.I had a very difficult time putting it down and ended up reading it in one sitting. At the end of the book, you find yourself feeling sad for Josh's discoveries, but also very satisfied for his future.
lalalibrarian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
only took me 24 hours. Mary Kay LeTourneau-style but from the perspective of the boy who was abused, five years later. Very intense.
meggyweg on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was a frank, realistic look at an very under-explored, misunderstood topic. I was extremely impressed by how deftly Lyga handled this; so many people romanticize child molestation when it¿s a woman who is the offender. There is none of that in this story. You get to see how the abuse affected Josh, his parents and his friends, and you even gain some understanding of Eve (nice symbolic name there)'s motivations.
kpickett on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When Josh was in 8th grade he was sexually mollested by his english teacher. Now he is 18 and he is learning to deal with the trauma that has been inflicted on him. The book starts with Josh learning that his teacher is getting out of jail and tells the story of Josh's seduction in flashbacks. Although a difficult topic I think readers will be drawn into this book and want to know what happens to all the characters in the end. There is sex, although not explicit, be warned.
razzbelly on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Another one to add to my list of favorites. This book was wonderful. It grabbed me from the first page and never let go,
4sarad on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I thought this was a great book and was hard to put down. Lyga did a great job tackling a really tough subject... a young woman teacher taking advantage of and molesting her 7th grade male student. The main character, Josh, seemed like a real teenager and it was interesting being in his head as he worked through his issues, 5 years after the fact. Pretty graphic at times, but a great read all around.
annekiwi on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Vascillating between the present and 5 years previous when he had an affair with his history teacher, the story of Josh Mendel was well written. I could have done without all the baseball stats, but it was part of the character. Josh Mendel is a senior in high school, infamous for his affair with his history teacher when he was 12. His life has been turned upside down by the incident and he is not recovering. He thinks he is, but he's just treading water, waiting to escape from his dysfunctional parents, high school that doesn't challenge him, and his status as social pariah. While the story about his affair is disturbing, I think the author handled it well. In describing sexual encounters between a 12 year old boy and a 24 year old woman, he never gets graphic, but still gets the point across. Instead of giving intimate, play-by-play details he writes "she taught me her body" which can conjure up whatever the reader associates with that phrase. The one thing that I didn't understand were the "flickers". I wish the author could have developed that more, perhaps resolved that with Josh's shrink, etc. Since I stayed up until 1 AM knowing that I had to get up at 5 AM I am going to give this book 4 1/2 stars for a compelling, well-written story.
TheBookCellar on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Barry Lyga writes a powerful story in which he holds nothing back. Boy Toy's written back and forth between Josh's flashbacks from 5 years ago and the present. At any given time, you're chance to be wondering what Josh's thinking, and later you find out. Joshua has withdrawn himself, and avoided Rachel, because of the incident 5 years ago, until he bumps into her. Now he must face himself and open up with the truth. The plot kept me flipping pages, waiting to see what Josh would do next. Josh was a great narrator, his voice was pleasant and kept you reading. I definately will be checking out Barry Lyga's other works!
TonySandel on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Josh, a bright baseball-mad 17-year-old, is still suffering from the sexual relationship he had with Eve, his 25-year-old history teacher when he was twelve. His problems come to a head when she is released from prison.