Man Down by James Goodhand (Review)

Format Read: eBook/physical

Source: NetGalley/Publisher

Publisher: Penguin

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Drama, Fiction

Publication Date: 3rd March 2022

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

Will Parks needs to man up.

A man stands. A man fights. A man bleeds.

These are the first lessons you learn in a town where girls are objects, words are weak and fists do the talking.

Will’s more at home in the classroom than the gym, and the most important woman in his life is his gran. So how can a boy who’s always backed away from a fight become the hero who saves the day?

Because a disaster is coming. One that Will can prevent. But only if he learns the most important lesson of all: sometimes to step up, you have to man down.

A searingly powerful exploration of toxic masculinity, perfect for fans of Juno Dawson or They Both Die at the End.

page divider

My Thoughts

After reading a quick description of Man Down when a book tour was announced by @The_WriteReads/@WriteReadsTours I was definitely intrigued. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read this one in time for the tour but I have since read it and here are my thoughts.

Man Down was definitely not what I was expecting, and honestly, I struggled with this one to start with. I was rather confused as to where it was going and also found the narrative confusing but I was determined to get to the end and I was so glad as the story really picked up and by about the 70% mark it really took off.

Although I struggled with the story at the start I liked the variety of characters. Will, the main character is a character than you can really see grow as the story unfolds. At the start of the book he starts off a shy and quiet character, who is always doubting himself but as the story unfolds you can see both his confidence and personality grow. I absolutely loved the relationship between Will and his Nain (Grandmother), it was just adorable and made my heart melt. Another favourite character of mine was Alfie. Alfie is the total opposite of Will. His confident and always up for a laugh. But behind closed doors his a troubled young boy struggling with mental health issues, while trying to keep up with school work and keeping his family fed. One character I wasn’t sure about was April. I really didn’t know what to make of her. The character’s that I found unlikeable from the start were Danny (Will’s brother) and his dad. They were just twats. But after finishing the book I can see they were intentionally made to be unlikeable.

Man Down may have started off slow and confusing but it does pick up and come together nicely with an ending that I wasn’t expecting at all. It totally shook my mind. It’s cleverly done and honestly if it wasn’t for the ending this would have been just an ok read.

If you’re looking for an unexpected and original read then this is definitely a book to give a go!!

Please check out the trigger warnings at before picking up this book as there are topics within the book that readers may find triggering.

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads

badge16402323965370175670.pngBlackthorn Book Trusted ReviewerProfessional Reader10 Book Reviews Reviews Published80%30483411-0-Edelweiss-Reviewer-B


    • Thank you Tessa!! Yes totally agree that it would make a great book club read! I have actually suggested it to a couple of friends who have are apart of book club, so will be interesting to see what they think!!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s