The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Review by Jill
A wonderfully circular plot finds us meeting Alex as he is trying to get back into the country through the Dover checkpoints with 113mg of cannabis. He is 17, driving an unknown man’s car and struggling to stay conscious.
I devoured this book in a day and a half, shedding tears along the way and feeling gutted that I had got to the end.
Alex and Mr Peterson become unlikely companions after Alex barricades himself in the latter’s shed. He doesn’t have it particularly easy though find his acceptance of life as it is refreshing amongst the teenage self- absorbance which is commonplace. His mother is a clairvoyant, his dad is elsewhere and he suffers from epilepsy after surviving a meteorite.
Sound implausible? It is. However, the narrative is beautifully told with laugh out loud moments of genius, whilst the friendship between the socially awkward Alex and the stubborn, seemingly unfeeling Mr P reminds us of the joy of finding a kindred spirit even if there are decades between their ages.
This debut, by author Gavin Extence will keep the book glued to your hand until you realise that only way to keep enjoying it is to pass it on to the next friend.