Surrounding this important event we also see several other gay teens in various stages of relationships. We see an established couple, a new/budding relationship, and a teen who is lost in his identity and turns to an online sex addiction, among others.
This is going to be a tough review to write because my feelings about it are complicated. I keep swaying back and forth between loving it for it's important message and beautiful writing and wishing that there was more content and just more of everything. 208 pages is not enough! I'm going to do this review a little differently because I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts right now. So I'm just going to go with talking points for this book.
Based on a true story:
- I didn't realize this was based on a true story until I read the author's note at the end. Not sure how I missed that fact in the synopsis, but I did. And that fact made me really happy because the whole time I was reading the book I kept thinking "This would be so cool if the world record was held by 2 dudes." And lo and behold IT IS!! Cool stuff. Although now I don't really feel like the author came up with this cool original idea anymore. Kind of like he's just using the headlines to inspire his book... which is fine, but it would've been cooler if he made it up and inspired 2 guys or girls to go out and do this.
- We read this for my bookclub this month and a lot of the girls did not like the narration AT ALL. I was totally opposite. I loved it and wanted more of it. I wanted more of this older generation's story. Although when I really got into reading it, I kind of wished the narration was saved for the beginning or end of the chapters. There were points when this God-like voice would bust in and start preaching in the middle of a scene, and while I didn't hate when they did it, I could have lived without SO many interruptions. But really that's just being nit-picky because I did really enjoy the narration and think without it this book would've been so much less.
What I like:
- I freaking love that this has become a popular book. How cool is it that gay AND straight people all over the country are reading this book?! When I was in high school if you would've told me that we would get to the point where people would carry around a book in public with 2 guys making out on the cover, I would have never believed you. I think that is so important and shows how far we've come. I think a book like this can open so many minds to what it is like growing up different (in any way not just in your sexuality). Another thing I really loved was the writing. You guys, this book is so beautifully written. It is a quote-lovers dream. I could have marked every other page for something that struck me as worth remembering (if it wasn't a library book that is).
What I'm a little ehhh about:
- I like the idea of this book and think it's an important book in the overall YA scene. But maybe that's not enough. I mean not that much actually happens in this book. Guys kiss, people live their everyday lives, we get a little peek into some of the hate that homosexuals face now and in the past, but that's about it. I felt like the Avery/Ryan relationship was completely rushed through. Avery is a Transsexual and I almost feel like he was thrown in as token. Like "oh I should really address that part of homosexuality... here you go, here's a Transsexual... but I'm not going to go into detail what his life is like or anything, he's just there". Bottom line here is 208 pages is not enough time to explore the important issues that are being addressed.
OVERALL: I love that there is a YA book about a subject like this. I think it's incredibly important and the book itself is full of beautiful writing. It is narrated in a unique all-seeing way and I really enjoyed that. I just didn't personally feel like 208 pages was enough to really dig into this important topic. Definitely worth reading though!!
This Book Contains:
This Book Contains:
- LGBT issues
- Kissing... lots of kissing lol
- The grosser realities of trying to kiss for 32 hours
- Video games
- Hate crimes
- Coming out
- Gay Prom
- Unique Narration
How I got this book: Library
Date Published: 8/27/2013