Boy A touches a subject that not many are willing to explore or even think about. Even reading the book is a difficult journey, as I found out after I (stupidly) decided to read the ending before I started the book (I HAD to know, right?).
The book itself does a good job of exploring the imagined scenario of a released murderer trying to crawl his way back into society, while explaining the steps he and others created that placed him in prison in the first place. The novel is hard, gritty; it never really loses that concrete-walls-and-floor feeling, echoing A's fear that he may never lose the memories of being locked in and watched from all sides. He's portrayed as an outsider, watching the workings of everyday friendships, business relationships, and love, like a studious anthropologist trying to make sense of an alien society.
All the same, I'm glad I saw the recently made movie as well as reading the book. I could appreciate A's child-like innocence bettter when I saw it onscreen. Also, I liked Michelle's (A's girlfriend's) character better in the movie than in the book-she wasn't really explored in the book except for a few sex scenes, while in the movie she showed another side of A that I thought was necessary.