Review: The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: January 21, 2014 by Egmont USA
Length: 256 pages
Source: Egmont USA (ARC)

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.


The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos is a fantastic read about a boy named Harry who was almost struck by lightning when he was 8 years old. It is written in first person point of view, and it was a fresh read for me since the story is told from a male perspective. I hardly read young adult contemporary books that has a male narrating the story so this one was interesting to read. What I love about this book is that the characters had their own personalities which means it’s easy to tell them apart and they’re realistic. Also, there is a character development with most of them which I really liked.

I also want to share with you 2 weird coincidences I had with this book. I got it from Edelweiss without reading the summary, and right when I was about to do my essay for college applications, I read the first page of the book, and guess what our main character, Harry, was doing? He was writing his college essay! Another coincidence is that I decided to stop at page 200, and when I checked the time, it was 2:00 a.m. Have you guys ever had any coincidence with the book you’re reading? If so, please share in the comments below!

Anyways, I totally recommend this book. If you’re looking for a great, quick read that involves music, friendship, obstacles, and a little bit of romance, I highly suggest you pick this one up.

4 of 5

4 Responses to “Review: The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos”

  1. 1 Emily December 9, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Hahaha! What an odd coincidence xD That’s pretty cute though! 🙂 I always like reading a book where it’s narrated by a male for a change, that involves music too! 😀
    Great review, Leigh, and thanks for sharing with us the coincidences! <33

  2. 2 Charlotte December 10, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Hala! Strange coincidence indeed. And I have never experienced such event, Leigh. it must have been bizarrely wonderful if there’s even such a thing.

    Yeah, I agree with you. It’s really rare to read books that are narrated by male leads. If I decide to read this, this wouldn’t be my first though because I’ve already read The Giver and The Messenger by Lois Lowry. Both books were narrated by males in first person POV.

    I am not so sure if I am going to give this book a try since I still have a lot of books to read. Hahaha. I am glad that you get to enjoy this one. 😀

  3. 4 Rosa Silva December 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    I think I have never read a romance novel narrated by a male! From your review the book seems a great read. I must check it out.

    Rosa @ Bookish Findings

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Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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