Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood.

But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ...

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world,The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world.

The opening introduced the supposedly missing Alex Woods at 1 o’clock in the morning, held up by border police in Dover -with a stash of weed, an urn of human ashes, and the Messiah blasting off to a maximum out from the car-  inadvertently during a seizure attack and bad weather. And he thinks it was Fate’s funny joke.

Well, it seems I began at the ending, too, the same way Mr. Extence did. Anyhow, Alex took a time lead and showed us when it all began –from a meteorite that pierced their roof and his skull, to the bullies that broke a neighbor’s greenhouse, and the shared admiration for Kurt Vonnegut. What started as a punishment grew into an unconventional friendship with great respect and profound understanding, even when circumstances are grave and irreversible. Maybe Alex is right, after all, Fate had something to do with it.

Alex is such a unique individual with a heart like a sponge. He provides space for people and accepts them for who they are. He looks at people and tries very hard to see the person in them instead. I believe Mr. Peterson is a very lucky old man to have him as a friend, especially during his most feeble state. Likewise, Mr. Peterson is exactly what Alex needed at his age -a fatherly figure that treats him as an equal and indulges his uniqueness. And the love…well, that happened unsurprisingly.

I honestly find it hard to come up with the right words to describe how much I really love this book; that even though I’ve read it eight months ago, I still can’t shake it off me. Whichever hit me more, the moral dilemma or the faithfulness grounded on true friendship, I can’t rightly point out. Maybe both. Two things I am sure though, this book is one of my best reads and I highly recommend it. 

Book details:
Title: The Universe Versus Alex Woods
Author: Gavin Extence
Publication:  January 31st, 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre:  YA Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★★


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