Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Lawn Boy

“Jonathan Evison's voice is pure magic. In Lawn Boy, at once a vibrant coming-of-age novel and a sharp social commentary on class, Evison offers a painfully honest portrait of one young man's struggle to overcome the hand he's been dealt in life and reach for his dreams. It's a journey you won't want to miss, with an ending you won't forget.” —Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington...

Details Lawn Boy

TitleLawn Boy
Release DateApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Adult

Reviews Lawn Boy

  • Jennifer Blankfein
    A wonderful coming of age story about a 22 year old Mexican man, told with wit and humor, Lawn Boy author Jonathan Evison brings to light the struggles based on race and socioeconomic class. Mike Muñoz mows lawns for a living. He has limited education, lives in a dilapidated home, has no money and although all he wants is the American Dream, he has so many strikes against him. Through trials and tribulations, Mike moves one step forward and two ...
  • Bud Smith
    A working class comic novel that doesn't play tough and put on a show. This novel is loveable and true. Lawn Boy is a look at what it means to start from nothing and simply have the aim of getting some points on the board rather than stay at zero in the weird game of life. Mike Munoz, the narrator, as well as all the characters in the novel (mostly his family and friends), are nobodies striving for success, but their success is something like 'no...
  • Rachel Watkins
    What Jonathan Evison has done in LAWN BOY is give us an unlikely hero in Mike Muñoz, who tells it like it is and just wants a fair shake. Only twenty-two but already beaten down, Mike knows what it means to go hungry, to share a house with too many people, to never get ahead. LAWN BOY covers issues like racism, immigrant rights, and homophobia in the same breath as dating misadventures, Mike's fledgling topiary carving artistry, and the pretenti...
  • Liz
    Maybe the biggest lesson I’ve learned, in art and in life, is that when the questions become too numerous and the considerations begin to feel a little overwhelming, you just have to look away for a minute and regather your vision for the thing, try to see it the way it originally came to you. Ask youself, how did I arrive here? What was I trying to accomplish? Mike Munoz, landscaper extraordinaire, was born with few opportunities but stacks of...
  • Kathleen
    Mike Munoz is a skilled lawn crew member in Washington State; his edges are immaculate, his mowing perfect. What he doesn’t like about his job is that some clients expect him to do non-lawn services like picking up St. Bernard dog-poo in the rain. Not cool! He loses his temper and his job! And so, he is back looking for work—any work. It doesn’t help that his truck ‘dies’ and his mower gets stolen. His mother works fifty-five hours a we...
  • Aaron Cance
    Experience has taught me that the release of any new novel by Jonathan Evison is truly a cause for celebration, and this year’s Lawn Boy is no exception. His early opus, West of Here, aside, Evison’s books typically operate around a small constellation of vividly imagined characters, characters so artfully and intricately rendered, they remind you of someone you either know or are related to. Lawn Boy is no different in this respect, but is a...
  • Patty
    Another great novel from one of my favorites, Jonathan Evison. I've been fortunate to be hired as proofreader by Algonquin for a number of his books and I always look forward to the next one. This one will go back on my list to read again when the book comes out!
  • Kayla
    I'm surprised by how much I loved this book! A fictional story about a landscaper wouldn't normally be one I'd be inclined to pick up, but I loved the realistic characters and truth of this novel. Mike Muñoz comes from a complicated family-life, and he is constantly dealing with cultural discrimination, financial issues, and a difficult job market. He is trying to find the secret to living the American Dream as he landscapes for minimum wage, bu...
  • Robin
    As usual, Evison develops his story with appealing characters and clever and hilarious banter. A fabulous "feel-good" story with Evison's love of libraries and librarians front and center.From the advance reading copy: After receiving readers' advisory help from Andrew at his local library, Mike thinks, "Once again, the library had my back. I left feeling a lot less desperate and scared than when I'd arrived. I clung to that security as I walked ...
  • Billie
    It's the relationship that develops at the end that really struck the only false note for me. The relationship itself was actually sweet, but how it got there...just something about it didn't quite ring true. But that was just a single flaw in what is otherwise a small gem of a book.
  • Brady Jones
    Just... don’t.
  • Amy
    I was such a big fan of, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance (you can see my interview on this one here), so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Evison's latest novel, Lawn Boy. This YA coming-of-age story is a great one to hand to a teen to help illustrate the struggles of our different social classes and also illustrate some of the hot button topics that are happening right now in politics.In this story, Mike struggles to keep steady employmen...
  • Tyler Jones
    I know I shouldn't be reviewing books five minutes after I finish reading them. I know I should let that glow fade a bit - let some perspective and rationality seep back into my head...but goddamn! this book is beautiful!
  • Kerry
    This book just made me happy. It’s as simple as that. Do you want to be happy? Read this book. I love Jonathan Evison’s humor and heart. I’ve always loved his quirky yet relatable characters and Mike Muñoz is a delight of a character. He made me both laugh out loud and well up with tears over the course of his struggle to find himself. And then there are all the little side characters: every one of them distinctly drawn and well developed....
  • Robin
    In Lawn Boy Jonathan Evison has given his readers another character to care about and remember. The story offers up Mike Munoz' quick-witted first person narrative as he navigates his world - his family, friends, employment or lack thereof, and questions of identity and where he fits in that world. Evison deftly but gently offers trenchant observations on class structure, wealth, social anxieties and finding ones true self. (And for us librarian ...
  • Lorilin
    Mike Munoz is a 22-year old Chicano living in the Seattle area with his overworked mother and severely autistic older brother. Mike is smart and driven. His goal is to build his own landscaping business---he's just not sure how. Surviving the day-to-day seems to be all he has time for anyway (and he's not doing a good job of that either...). It doesn't help that everything seems to be going wrong lately:  his brother's mood swings are out of con...
  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this book. Mike Muniz is a guy who just can't get a break. He's young but already has had a lot of responsibility with helping his mom with money and his older brother has mental challenges. He's a landscaper who loses it one day when his crappy boss asks him to pick up dog shit when that is definitely not in his job description. So he tries other jobs and meets up with an old elementary school friend wh...
  • Brian
    Lawn Boy introduces us to Mike Munoz, a half Mexican 23 year old who has no college experience and has only worked as a lawn boy. He lives with his mother, who struggles to make ends meet and along with his handicapped brother, Nate, who is more than a handful. Mike tries to find his place in the world amidst a cast of interesting and well developed side characters. I really like the voice that the main character has in this novel, as well as the...
  • Tracy
    This bro-ey book didn't really speak to me.
  • Brock
    I think this is my favorite of Jon's books so far. I am buying copies to give to libraries when it comes out. I flat out loved it. I was having a shitty week, and the story made me laugh out loud. The jokes were slapstick to subtle, and I know how it pained him to be subtle. You really should read it. It will lift your spirits. It's a great story and a great read. The story pulled me in and I put everything else aside. The book is transformative.
  • Jen
    Lawn Boy is the captivating story of Mike Muñoz and his struggle to make a better life for himself than the one he's been dealt. He grew up poor, has very little prospects, and just can't seem to catch a break. I initially thought this book was only about a young, poor Mike trying to cross the social divide and better his life but it's so much more than that. We watch him struggle with his sexual identity, come to terms with his past, and find o...
  • Paul Demetre
    A beautifully written novel about a landscaper who loves lawn work and wants to write the great American landscaping novel. There are many roadblocks in his way, most being based in class, upbringing and poverty, still this novel feels fresh rather than another iteration of the same story. My only disappointment is that part of the ending feels tracked on and forced.Johnathon Evison was, as am I, a landscaper and you can truly sense the feelings ...
  • Bookish
    Mike is a landscaper, but his life is stuck in neutral. Will he ever be free to sculpt topiaries and write the great landscaping novel? With masterful style, Evison raises awareness under a cloak of humor. He touches on poverty, immigration, sexuality, and puppy mills, all to surprisingly hilarious effect. Laugh-out-loud funny, yet achingly real.
  • Dan
    Evison always conjures a wild and wonderful cast of characters and Lawn Boy is no exception. This is a big hearted book about class and discovering who you are and how to grow up in the world.
  • npaw
    I loved it this book. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving made me put Evison on the short list of favorite locals but he is pure genius with Lawn Boy. Algonquin is Evison’s publisher and anyone who knows me knows I think Jill McCorkle walks on water. There is only one Jill McCorkle BUT I must say that Evison’s ability to make his cast of unusually interesting characters jump off the page shows a depth I haven’t seen in long time. As a Co...
  • Mark
    Mike Munoz is in his early 20s and the only thing he likes to do is cut lawns and do other landscaping duties, but these menial jobs barely pay the bills and when he is fired from his lawn service company, he has to really decide what to do with his life. This is a fine story about a young Chicano man, trying to make his way, in Washington state, as he deals with poverty, a mentally-challenged brother and many shiftless, friends and family, who w...
  • Michael
    This is my third Jonathan Evison novel. He has become one of my favorite contemporary authors. "Lawn Boy" tells the story of a young man, Mike Munoz, who, against some formidable obstacles, is struggling to find his path in life. Mr. Evison, writing with eloquence and irreverent wit, captures the intense confusion, frustrations, anger and joy of a young man coming-of-age and finding himself in contemporary America. A most enjoyable read that had ...
  • Alena
    This is my second reading of this author and I’ve concluded that he’s just not my cup of tea. I finished but not planning to read him again. Moving on.
  • KSamsPT
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book (....and not just because the author broke it up into short chapters, though that is a huge plus for my tired eyes!). Humorous and authentic throughout, this is a story of a young man with several strikes against him who is striving to make a meaningful living for himself. He wants his own piece of the American dream, humble as it may be. This was my first book that I have read by this author, so I will seek out som...
  • Susan
    This book got off to a slow start, but about a third of the way through I couldn't stop reading it. It is a short and easy read. After the main character, Mike, keeps running into roadblock after roadblock, I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep reading since the past couple of months have been difficult ones for me. Happily, things work out very well at the end. I loved the upbeat ending. Some might call it Pollyanna-ish, but it was what I needed. Wh...