The Boy in the Black Suit

Jason Reynolds

fiction contemporary young adult
emotional hopeful lighthearted slow-paced

272 pages | first published 2015

Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

What the community thinks

summary of 190 ratings (see reviews)

Moods

emotional 87%
hopeful 62%
reflective 50%
funny 25%
challenging 12%
dark 12%
inspiring 12%
lighthearted 12%
sad 12%

Pace

medium 50%
slow 37%
fast 12%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 100%

Strong character development?

Yes: 87% | It's complicated: 12%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 100%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 71% | No: 28%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

No: 50% | Yes: 50%

Average rating

3.93