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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Horse Boys: When Growing Up Is A Kick In The Head is a work of social issues and coming of age fiction penned by author J. T. Blossom. Intended for mature readers due to some of the graphic violence content, the novel focuses on a vital period of growing up for young Michael in the late sixties in the USA. The suburban Michael is only newly teenaged, more concerned with school and sports than rough riding horses, so his new position of helping out the horse boys at their grimy riding stable comes as a real shock to the system. Through their shocking behavior and ideology, Michael questions what it really means to grow up and become a man.
Although this is an extreme example, author J. T. Blossom’s cautionary coming of age tale arrives at a perfect time in the modern climate of toxic masculinity. In itself, Michael’s story is one which is harrowingly apt, terrifyingly realistic and very well portrayed from an emotional perspective, but beyond that, it has a much larger message to tell which expands off the page into today’s world. The journey from Michael to ‘Coolidge’ and his sense of identity reflects the power of such bitter socialization, the attitudes which the other bullying boys around him portray, and the story leaves you with many questions about how much of this practice is still around today. Overall, Horse Boys: When Growing Up Is A Kick In The Head is a well written and graphic tale with important talking points for today’s world.