The Leap Year Boy by Marc Simon

BORING. And unfortunately, that’s the BEST I can say for this one. I kept waiting for the big reveal, the big a-ha, the big so-THAT’S-what-this-book-is-about. I never got anything remotely like that, so blargh.

leap year boy

The Leap Year Boy is a (blissfully) short novel about a somewhat freakish little child named Alex Miller, born to a working class family in Pittsburgh in the early 1900s. He’s born on a Leap Day and he’s frightfully small. I guess I expected this to be one of those magical realism books I love so much…I figured he’d grow at a quarter of the normal rate or something or only on Feb. 29 or that his diminutive size would somehow have to do with his unusual birthday.

Nope. Instead he’s just weirdly small. Until he grows chimpanzee length arms. WTH? Oh, to top it off, he can read really early, he’s a master thief, and he gets manipulated by others around him at every turn (I’m not kidding…this kid is nearly sold into the circus and is surrounded by crazies). Also, people drop like flies and come in and out of Alex’s life on a regular basis (because, you know, turn-of-century life SUCKED) and yeah, that’s sort of all that happens.

Other than the weak plot, my biggest complaint is the book’s sloppy editing. I marked at least 10 typos (including punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors) in my Kindle notes before I decided to give up. I have to assume this is a self-published novel, but STILL…that’s no excuse!

I’m glad this was a library download and I didn’t pay money for it or else I’d be seriously ticked. Skip this one without hesitation!

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