Published by Hachette UK on September 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, General
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***THE RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 BESTSELLER*** A Boy Made of Blocks is a moving, funny and heartwarming story of family and love inspired by the author's own experiences with his son, the perfect latest obsession for fans of The Rosie Project, David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes. 'Funny, expertly plotted and written with enormous heart. Readers who enjoyed The Rosie Project will love A Boy Made of Blocks - I did' Graeme Simsion
A father who rediscovers love Alex loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. He needs a reason to grab his future with both hands.
A son who shows him how to live Meet eight-year-old Sam: beautiful, surprising - and different. To him the world is a frightening mystery. But as his imagination comes to life, his family will be changed . . . for good.
'One of those wonderful books that makes you laugh and cry at the same time' Good Housekeeping
'Very funny, incredibly poignant and full of insight. Awesome.' Jenny Colgan
'Heartwarming' The Unmumsy Mum
'A wonderful, warm, insightful novel about family, friendship and love' Daily Mail
'A great plot, with a rare sense of honesty' Guardian
'A truly beautiful story' Heat
'A heartwarming and wise story' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
A Boy Made of Blocks is one of those books that just tugs at your heartstrings the whole time you’re reading. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was my kind of book, and it took me a long, long time to warm to Alex, because he’s a bit selfish, a bit self-centered, unable to see that other people need him to think about them once in a while, and the whole Minecraft aspect baffled me because I’ve only ever seen my little cousins play the game and it makes no sense! A game centered around building things? Where’s the fun in that, when you can be stealing cars and shooting bad people. But A Boy Made of Blocks really opened my eyes into how people see Minecraft, how it can be about more than building blocks. Or, rather, building blocks in more ways than one.
As I said, it took me a while to warm up to Alex. He acts like his son Sam is a chore, something to be dealt with quickly and painlessly or to avoid if possible. So I can entirely understand why Jody asked him to leave – he was no help to her at all, so why shouldn’t she just do it herself? It takes Alex so, so long to realise that just because Sam is different doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. But it’s a worthy journey, because Alex does see the errors of his ways. He does realise that he needs to change, he needs to live in the present not the past, and the way to a happier life for him and his family can be attained, if he’s willing to change. What I loved most about the book was the relationship between Alex and Sam. It’s hard at first, but once they begin to play Minecraft together, it really helps both of them come out of their shells. It filled me with such an incredible joy to see Sam more talkative, more willing to answer questions, less prone to losing his temper.
There’s a lot of sadness and anger in A Boy Made of Blocks, but there’s also hope. So don’t let the bleak plot put you off, because this is actually an incredible book, which makes a proper emotional impact as you read. Getting to know the characters was a pure joy, and Keith Stuart’s writing is incredible. It’s like he’s poured his heart and soul into this book and it shows. You can really feel every scene as you’re reading and it’s an incredibly hard to put down book. I read it in a couple of sittings, after realising that I was so tired I had to put it down and go to sleep. I can see why it’s been picked for Richard & Judy’s book club because it was an incredible read.