Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two Books

I've been meaning to write this post forever.  I read two good gay-themed books lately that I want to recommend.  I'll shamelessly copy the summary of each one from and just write some quick thoughts.

The first one is Bait by Alex Sanchez.  First, the summary: 

When a guy in his class looks at him funny, Diego punches him in the face, and ends up on probation. At first he wants nothing to do with his probation officer. But as Diego starts to open up, he begins to realize that Mr. Vidas is the first person in his life who ever really wanted to listen to him. With Vidas's help, Diego begins to make real progress in controlling his anger. He even opens up enough to tell Vidas about the shark tooth that his stepfather gave him that he uses to cut himself. But only if Diego can find the courage to trust Vidas with the darkest secrets from his past will he be able to heal completely.

In this bold story of a boy trying to grow beyond a painful past, award-winning author Alex Sanchez calls upon his personal experience as a probation officer to reveal the complexities of one of his most genuinely realized characters to date.

And the quick review:  Alex Sanchez is one of my favorite gay YA authors, and, I would say, one of the better ones.  I read his Rainbow Boys trilogy when I was coming out and it helped me alot (even though I'm not chronologically an  adolescent, I still am emotionally sometimes), and all of his other books are good too.  This one was a little bit different in that the main character was not gay but one of the supporting characters is.  The story was somewhat predictable but the characters were well-developed and likeable.  I identified with Vidas, the probation officer, since that is what I used to do.  It made me really miss it and want to get back into a job where I directly help young people better their lives.

The next one is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.  Again, the summary:

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

And the review:  This book was awesome.  The premise is pretty unlikely, but I could identify just a bit with all three of the main characters, two of whom are gay and one who is straight.  Will#1 has two rules for life, which I also try to follow as best I can:  first, don't care, and second, shut up.  Will#2 is moody, pretty straight-acting, and looking for a relationship.  Tiny is way over the top, the stereotypical gay diva, but I could identify with his bad luck in love.  The book is well written and has some hilarious lines.

That's it!


Anonymous said...

I'm sensing a pattern of the kinds of books you read :P

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