Having read Lazy Blood, Ross' debut, I knew what a prolific writer he was. I was captivated by the 80's set story, in a City not far from me, and where I lived for a short while.
I was unsure what Ross was going to bring out next, I knew he planned to bring out three books loosely based on each other, but stand alones.
The Boy Inside, was more than I imagined, it is a crime book, based on Ben's life, but told in a way that could be a biography of so many young people today.
He met up with Jake at a pivotal time in his life, and if he hadn't I am unsure he would have led the life he went on to.
The back story of his upbringing, his choices, the area where he lived, and then his stints in and out of the systematic world of care and crime.
This book showed, so much of a life that is easy to get into, but too difficult to climb out of.
There were parts of the story, that were so personal. From living in an area where drugs were easy to get, I know someone who blamed the area he lived in for ruining his life, and lived a life of petty crime, and was in and out of prison. However, so did many others in the area, that did not go down this route.
I would like to see this book on the school syllabus either to be read as a whole or snippets, to bring awareness, It would work so well for various subjects and is a book that I would love to have many a discussion about. Especially how, why young offenders are placed where they are?
This Boy got inside my head, and was a likeable character in a way, I didn't think he would.
5 star rating review from Bookstormer