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Book Review: The Universe Versus Alex Woods

If you’re in a reading rut – you need this.

The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

Genre: Fiction, Coming-of-Age

BUG Rating: 4.5/5

Overall: I am struggling to find words to do this book justice! Let’s start with I LOVED IT. It’s clever, unique – you won’t find anything else like it and it went above and beyond my expectations!

The extraordinary story was the tale of an unusual friendship between teen Alex Woods and veteran Mr Peterson. The characters were all fantastic and fascinating, especially socially awkward Alex, who has a love for science and books. He was such a fun, quirky character!

I laughed and cried throughout this book – sometimes at the same time! It’s really quite a profound book making you question life, and what dying really means. 

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something a bit different and unique. It really got me out of my reading rut!

If you had to relive your life exactly as it was – same successes and failures, same happiness, same miseries, same mixture of comedy and tragedy – would you want to? Was it worth it?


Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life. 

He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies. 

He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it. 

What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. 

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing.

A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey, Alex’s story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears. And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you’ve ever read.

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