Today, I have a review of The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses, K. N. Smith’s debut novel. It’s a a young adult action-adventure novel with a very interesting plot and really great characters. I had the opportunity to read an eARC (electronic advanced readers’ copy) of this book, and I’m glad I finally got around to it!
In the small town of Danville Heights, five teen boys are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them heightened senses. Instinctively, the boys are called to nearby Sandry Lake to root out the evil that lives there. As the boys embrace their new superhero duties, they become overwhelmed. When the boys encounter a dark stranger who seems to understand their plight, and a fearless and beautiful girl, things get complicated. But they have to keep it together to defeat the antagonist, Druth, and fulfill their destiny.
I had such high hopes for this book. It’s gotten rave reviews on Goodreads (as of my writing this, it has a 4.87 rating), and the plot sounded really interesting. But I had a really hard time getting through it. The writing really threw me. The prose had an almost condescending quality to it, using big words while at the same time overly explaining everything. And I thought the dialogue seemed a bit unnatural – it reminded me a little bit of the over the top and obvious way characters talk in the Disney channel shows my little sister used to watch. To me, it seemed like the writing was just a little too contrived, and I personally didn’t care for the style.
The story itself was pretty original (though there are a myriad of cliches scattered throughout the book). I loved that the characters are so diverse! There were little bits of each character’s culture and background strewn throughout the novel, which I really appreciated.
Overall, I think the writing style was just not for me. Which is totally fine. Everyone else seems to love this book, so if it interests you, definitely give it a shot! And if you’ve read it, let me know what you think in the comments!
This book was provided to me by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.