Monday, May 08, 2017

Review: The Boy Who Fell to Earth by A. Zukowski with Giveaway

the boy who fell to earthTitle ~ The Boy Who Fell to Earth

Author ~ A. Zukowski

Published ~ 29th March 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, New Adult





Jay Palmer is two months away from his sixteenth birthday. He doesn’t realise how his life will be changed forever when a gang of thugs leaves a badly injured boy on his doorstep. The biracial boy and his white single mum Maggie nurse the stranger, sixteen-year-old Aleksander Zukowski or Sasha. Sasha ran away from care two and half years ago. He sleeps rough, is addicted to drugs and sells himself on the streets of London to fund his habit. For the first time in his life, he has a reason to change.
Sasha confirms what Jay already knows about himself but it won't be easy for Jay to come out to his macho mates in a largely black neighbourhood. Sasha has an uphill struggle to stay clean when his past threatens to throw him back into the abyss. Are the two boys strong enough to stay together against all odds?


Cheryl’s Review

I know I say this a lot but it’s difficult to know what to say about this book. I genuinely loved it to bits. The story is enthralling and very real. Although grim in places, it always holds out hope which is realized in the end (I don’t think I’m giving anything away in saying that).

Given Jay was brought up on an estate in the east end of London, I had a lot of difficulty accepting how naïve he is. However, he’s very engaging and I was totally rooting for him. He’s a genuinely nice person doing the best he can with what he has. Sasha, on the other hand, can hardly be called naïve. He’s a deliciously complex character who at times seems irredeemable; but despite everything thrown at him he manages to find an inner strength that brings him through, even though he’s being dragged by the foot over fire to get there.

It’s difficult to read about the things Sasha goes through, but I think it’s a realistic picture of a young drug addict living on the streets- what they will go through to get drugs and how hard it is to get away from them. The author paints a fantastic picture of London’s seedy underworld and although it’s a picture that’s uncomfortable to look at, it certainly makes the reader think a little more carefully about things we might usually paint over.

The book is also full of a diverse cast of brightly drawn supporting characters. I’m particularly fond of Jay’s mother, Eric and Big Al, although there are plenty more.

I do still have issues with editing. The spelling and punctuation is fairly good (although I wouldn’t take my word on the punctuation because I’m shaky myself), and although the writing is immature in places it’s strong enough to carry the story. However, it’s peppered with frustrating little errors like “changed tact” instead of “changed tack”, and places where the tense bounces back and forth between past and present.

There’s no doubt that an author, editor, etc. who reads this book will be frustrated in places, but I hope they will get over that to truly appreciate the gem in the rough. Readers who don’t care about technical perfection, and young people generally, I would think, won’t have a problem and will be enthralled by the book. Even those who might struggle with the way it’s written have to be caught up by the story and drawn in by these amazing characters.

You might think, given what I’ve said, that 4 stars is a little too generous. Trust me, it’s not. The story more than carries its imperfections and as frustrating as it can be it has a force that keeps you on the edge of the seat and a grittiness that opens your eyes and makes you think. This is definitely a book worth reading and one I will undoubtedly read again.

Purchase Links



Connect with A. Zukowski




A. Zukowski is giving away two e-book copies of The Boy Who Fell to Earth. Just leave a comment on this review, along with your email address, for a chance to win. Two winners will be chosen randomly from entries received through May 14, 2017.


  1. This book sounds heartbreaking and good

  2. Ooooh! sounds like one of those anguish-filled stories that I really enjoy... thank you for the review, Cheryl

  3. I'm intrigued. Great cover, some good reviews/comments and all I can think of is David Bowie... And no idea if I've got a chance to even read it. OUCH!

  4. Dear Cheryl, thanks for your review. It means a lot. I plan to re-edit through the summer. In the meantime, please bear with the cast who are, as you point out and I hope, imperfect and enthralling at the same time. Jay and Sasha lived in my head for months. It was a pretty traumatic novel to write. I still think like a screenwriter, so the characters, the setting and the acts come first for me. I know I need to transfer them into words properly! ^_^ ~ A.

  5. sounds like a great story..congrats
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  6. I'm so glad the reviewer suggested we read it even with the editing errors. I just finished 'beta reviewing' a book for another author and know that a great story can carry a book beyond the 'typos.' (let me know if you need any help.)

    Sixteen is a difficult year and I cannot imagine a young person living on the streets and fending for themselves. I'm happy to see that there is a good supporting cast to go along with the two main characters. I look forward to reading this! Good luck with the release.

    1. Hi Diane, congratulations! You are one of lucky winners and will receive a copy of this book from the author. A email from us is on its way.

  7. Thanks for the good review. This sounds like it has a lot of good things going for it, and for me the YA and multiracial will be interesting. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  8. Great interview. It looks like a book I'd like to read.

  9. Great review. Sounds like a great book.

  10. I'm one of those who gets frustrated by editing errors, but Cheryl makes a strong case for why this one is still worth it. The premise really draws me in so I'm glad to add another one to my list even if I don't win it. Thanks for the giveaway chance!

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

    1. Hi Carolyn, congratulations! You are one of lucky winners and will receive a copy of this book from the author. A email from us is on its way.

  11. This sounds like a book that will make me cry... in a good way.


  12. Oh I've been keeping an eye on this book since it came out, but I was waiting for a review...glad that it got such a great one!