The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

The Scar Boys - Len Vlahos

Synopsis (via Amazon):


A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock 'n' roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world...even if you carry scars inside and out. 

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay--help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores--Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life. 

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality. 

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry's description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he's looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.


I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.  


This book was amazing.  Wasn't quite sure what to expect when I requested a copy of this book, and to be honest, it sat for a little while on my Kindle before I took a look at it. I am glad that I did read it.  Although this book is in the 'new adult' category, I think because of the age of the protagonist, it is kind of a disservice because I am sure there are people who will skip over it just based on that and they shouldn't.  Teens and adults should read this book.  


For personal reasons that I won't get into, I loved the meaning behind Harbinger's name.