Categories
Book Club Pick

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Book Club Pick: June 2016

SpeakCover

Book Details:

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: United States

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

First Published: 1999

Pages: 198

Publisher’s Description:

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she’s an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops – a major infraction in high-school society – so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either – there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. Try as she might to avoid it, it won’t go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can’t be silent – she must speak the truth. In this powerful novel, an utterly believable, bitterly ironic heroine speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while learning that, although it’s hard to speak up for yourself, keeping your mouth shut is worse.

Review:

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‘The First Ten Lies They Will Tell You in High School’, Speak pp. 5-6

The novel opens with Melinda Sordino starting her high school freshman year. She has been ostracised by her friends and fellow students after she called the cops at a summer party. It is clear that something happened. I think most readers will be able to predict what happened at the party but I won’t spoil it.

At school Melinda is befriended by a new girl Heather, only to later be ditched for ‘the Marthas’ a group of popular girls.

Melinda a social outcast
Melinda a social outcast

She becomes more depressed (Melinda is probably suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder) and begins to skip school and frequently challenges parental and authority figures, who see her silence simply as attention seeking behaviour.

There are also literary parallels with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850), which Melinda is studying in English. Hester Prynne, the central character of The Scarlet Letter, like Melinda is a social outcast. Melinda also has a poster of author / poet Maya Angelou in her closet. Angelou was a outsider like Melinda and her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) had been banned by the school.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

The novel is written in first person and almost reads like Melinda’s diary. Anderson uses a non-linear narrative with flashbacks disrupting the present. This fragmented narrative structure illustrates Melinda’s depressed state and the trauma she has suffered.

Also what is interesting is that Melinda works through her depression and PSTD herself without seeking professional help, although she does receive support from her lab partner David Petrakis and her art teacher Mr. Freeman.

This coming-of-age problem novel is about a young woman finding her own voice, and speaking up and allowing the truth to set her free. It is a powerful piece of writing for a debut novel.

In 2004 a film version directed by Jessica Sharzer starring Kristin Stewart screened at the Sundance Film Festival and screened on Showtime and Lifetime the following year.

Speak_film

 

Links:

Laurie Halse Anderson Official Website

Laurie Halse Anderson on Twitter

Laurie Halse Anderson on Instagram

Laurie Halse Anderson on Tumblr

Laurie Halse Anderson on YouTube

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

Gone by Michael Grant

Book Club Pick: May 2016

GoneCover

Book Details:

Title: Gone

Author: Michael Grant

Series: Gone series (Book #1)

Country: United States

Publisher: HarperCollins

First Published: 2009

Pages: 560

Publisher’s Description:

299 Hours 54 Minutes

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

A small town in southern California: In the blink of an eye everyone over the age of 15 disappears. Cut off from the outside world, those who are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. Chaos rules the streets.

Now a new world order is rising and, even scarier, some survivors have power – mutant power that no one has seen before . . .

Escapism just doesn’t get better than this.

Review:

‘One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next he was gone’ is the opening line to Michael Grant’s first novel in the Gone series.

14-year-old surfer Sam Temple is day dreaming in his third period history class when his teacher Mr. Trentlake disappears.

The basic premise is that in Perido Beach, a small Southern California surf town, everyone over the age of fifteen has mysteriously disappeared. There is an added twist in that some of the young people left behind have begun to develop strange powers.

Sam is the protagonist and the central focus for the story. He does not belong to any particular social group and only really has one true friend, Quinn Gaither. Although not overly popular Sam is known at school as ‘School Bus Sam’. A nickname he earned in the seventh grade when a bus driver had a heart attack and he steered the bus onto the shoulder of the road saving the lives of his fellow classmates. This makes people look to him as a leader. He struggles with the expectations of leadership, which are thrust upon him. He is the reluctant hero.

In a search for answers Sam is joined by Quinn, the school genius and his crush Astrid Ellison, and Edilio Escobar, a student who recently moved to the town from Honduras.

The rival school just out of town is Coates Academy, a private boarding school for rich troubled youth. The students of Coates arrive and elect Caine Soren as their new leader. He uses the bullies of Perido Beach to help police the town along with fellow Coates students Drake Merwin and Diana Ladris.

As you may expect Caine, along with Drake and Diana are the antagonists of the novel. Caine appears to know a bit more about these strange powers that the youth are developing and has a plan of his own. He also has a connection to Sam.

The novel is written in third person and switches perspectives between Sam and an ensemble of teens left to fend for themselves. There is Albert (my favourite) who has taken over the local McDonalds, Mary who runs the childcare centre caring for the babies between popping pills, and Lana who we first meet living alone on a ranch with her dog Patrick.

The novel has modern sci-Fi Lord of the Flies meets X-Men feel to it.

In 2013, it was announced that Sony Pictures Television had acquired the rights to the Gone series. This has yet to come to fruition.

 

GoneBanner

 

Links:

Michael Grant Official Website

Michael Grant on Facebook

Michael Grant on Twitter

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

 

Categories
Book Club Pick

A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French

Book Club Pick: April 2016

ARoseForTheAnzacBoys

Book Details:

Title: A Rose for the ANZAC Boys

Author: Jackie French

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: Australia

Publisher: Angus & Robertson

First Published: 2008

Pages: 294

Publisher’s Description:

In is 1915. War is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from sixteen-year-old Midge Macpherson, at school in England learning to be a young lady. But the war is coming closer: Midge’s brother are in the army, and her twin, Tim, is listed as ‘missing’ in the devastating defeat of the Anzac forces at Gallipoli.

Desperate to do their bit – and avoid the boredom of school and the restrictions of Society – Midge and her friends Ethel and Anne start a canteen in France, caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge, recruited by the over-stretched ambulance service, is thrust into carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined. And when the war is over, all three girls – and their Anzac boys as well – discover that even going ‘home’ can be strange and wonderful.

Review:

A Rose for the ANZAC Boys focuses on the female volunteers of World War I, who nursed and cared for soldiers, drove ambulances, raised money for the War effort, sent food parcels and knitted clothing. Jackie French calls these women the ‘forgotten army’.

It is 1915 and sixteen-year-old Margery ‘Midge’ Macpherson from a Canterbury sheep farm in New Zealand is studying at Miss Hollington’s School for Young Ladies, a boarding school in England, while her two brothers Dougie and Tim serve in the Army during World War I.

Midge is worried as her twin brother Tim (who enlisted under another name because he was underage) is listed as missing in action. Keen to do her bit Midge and her boarding school friends Ethel and Anne open a canteen in France to feed and care for the soldiers returning from the front.

While working at the canteen Midge meets Slogger Jackson, a female ambulance driver (driving an old butcher’s van). After Slogger’s hands are badly hurt Midge takes her place as an ambulance driver and ends up assisting at field hospital. Midge suddenly experiences the true horrors of war.

ANZAC is an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Midge meets Harry Harrison, a son of an Australian sheep farmer. They share bond because of their connection as farmers.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Sydney Cenotaph, Martin Place
ANZAC Day 2014, Sydney Cenotaph, Martin Place

Majority of the novel takes place between 1915 and 1920, during and just following the First World War. But the narrative is bookended by two contemporary events – an ANZAC Day service in Biscuit Creek, a small Australian town in 1975 and ANZAC Day in Biscuit Creek in 2007.

The book is written in third person with personal letters sent and received by Midge interwoven between the chapters.

French does not shy away from the horror of War and there are some graphic depictions of the violence and consequences of War.

 

Links:

Jackie French Official Website

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Book Club Pick: March 2016

TheBoyInTheStripedPyjamasCover

Book Details:

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: a fable

Author: John Boyne

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: Ireland

Publisher: David Fickling Books

First Published: 2006

Pages: 216

Publisher’s Description:

Lines may divide us, but hope will unite us . . .

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he know is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

Review:

Nine-year-old Bruno is growing up in Berlin during World War II. After Bruno’s father is promoted to a Commandant, he and his family move to ‘Out-With’ on the orders of ‘The Fury’.

‘Out-With’ is Bruno’s misinterpretation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and ‘The Fury’ was his misinterpretation of the word Führer, which means leader or guide in German and was commonly associated with Adolf Hitler.

Young Bruno is quite naive about what is going on around him. For example, he presumes that ‘Heil Hitler’ is a another way of saying ‘Well, goodbye for now, have a pleasant afternoon.’

Bruno is not happy about leaving his friends and his comfortable home for a house in the middle of nowhere where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. From his bedroom window he can see a camp behind a wire fence.

One day Bruno explores the fence line and meets a Jewish boy named Shmuel, who shares the same birthday as him. Shmuel is dressed in striped pyjamas and a cap. All the people on Shmuel’s side wear pyjamas.

Bruno and Shmuel develop a friendship. An innocent Bruno does not understand what is going on Shmuel’s side of the fence and Shmuel cannot understand how the Commandant can have such a nice son.

There has been some criticism against the plausibility of the story, such as there were no nine year-old boys at Auschwitz. Some argue that the narrative trivialises the conditions of the death camp and the Holocaust.

A film adaptation directed by Mark Herman and starring Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, David Hayman and Asa Butterfield was released in 2008.

TheBoyInTheStripedPajamasPoster

 

Links:

John Boyne Official Website

John Boyne on Twitter

John Boyne on Instagram

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Book Club Pick: February 2016

Perks of being a wallflower

Book Details:

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: United States

Publisher: Gallery Books / MTV Books

First Published: 1999

Pages: 213

Publisher’s Description:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the unchartered territory of high school. The world of first dates, family drama, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Review:

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This coming-of-age novel is written as a series of anonymous letters that fifteen-year-old high school Freshman Charlie writes to someone he has never meet but thinks will understand him. He addresses the letters as only as ‘Dear Friend’. The 53 letters span a period from August 1991 to August 1992.

When the novel opens Charlie is dealing with the suicide of his middle school friend Michael the year before and the death of his favourite aunt Helen, during his early childhood. Charlie befriends Patrick, an openly gay teen from his shop class, and his step sister Sam. Both are older, outsiders – but they are the cool kind of outsiders. They introduce Charlie to parties, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The novel tackles some tough issues through Charlie’s eyes including suicide, domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug use, homosexuality, death of a family member, mental health.

Stephen Chbosky also wrote and directed the feature film adaptation that was released in 2012 and starred Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-movie-poster

 

Links:

Stephen Chbosky on Twitter

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Book Club Pick: January 2016

ChocolateWar

Book Details:

Title: The Chocolate War

Author: Robert Cormier

Series: Followed by a sequel Beyond the Chocolate War (released in 1985)

Country: United States

Publisher: Pantheon Books

First Published: 1974

Pages: 209

Publisher’s Description:

New boy Jerry Renault refuses to sell chocolates for Trinity School’s annual fundraiser. This small act of defiance starts a chain reaction, exposing the corruption running through the school and starting an all-out war with the Vigils, the school’s secret society. There is only one solution, but who will survive?

Review:

‘Do I dare disturb the universe?‘ – a line from T.S. Eliot that is on a poster on Jerry’s locker.

DisturbUniverse

Jerry Renault, is a freshmen at Trinity, a Catholic high school for boys. He is a quiet and reserved student, silently coping following the death of his mother.

One day Jerry is approached by Archie Costello, who is the Assigner for the Vigils, a secret underground student society. Each student when joining the Vigils is assigned a task (think hazing and peer pressure). Jerry’s assignment is to refuse to sell any chocolates for ten days during the school’s fundraiser.

Jerry decides after the ten days to still refuse to sell chocolates, which puts him at heads with the Vigils and sadistic vice principal Brother Leon. His defiant act turns into an all-out war with bullying and coercion.

The novel highlights the Vigil’s manipulation, cruelty and control over students. This very dark depiction of the abuse of authority could easily be a metaphor for any corrupt political society in the world.

Due to its content the book is frequently banned and appears third on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned / Challenged Books in 2000 – 2009.

The novel was adapted into a feature film in 1988, directed by Keith Gordon.

TheChocolateWarFilm

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Book Club Pick: December 2015

ThroneOfGlass

Book Details:

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass series (Book #1)

Country: United States of America

Publisher: Bloomsbury

First Published: 2012

Pages: 404

Publisher’s Description:

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

 

Review:

Eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier when she is offered a deal by Choal Westfall, the Captain of the Guard, to represent Dorian Havilliard the Crown Prince of Adarlan in a tournament to the find the King’s champion. If successful after four years of service as the King’s personal assassin she will be granted her freedom.

Celaena begins her training under the watchful eye of the stoic Choal. During the tournament the other competitors begin turning up dead. This provides the fantasy novel with an element of mystery as Celaena works to find the killer before she becomes a victim herself.

There is also an element of romance with a love triangle between Celaena, Dorian and Choal. It was nice that the friendship between Dorian and Choal was not spoiled by this potential love triangle, something which can be tiresome in YA romance novels.

The novel has a strong female protagonist in Celaena, as well as being a skilled assassin Calaena likes dresses, parties and reading. Too often in YA novels a strong female character loses her femininity in favour of other qualities, so it sends a positive message that a young woman can still be feminine and strong.

Maas inspired by the Cinderella story originally published her story online as ‘Queen of Glass’ on FictionPress.com. Her popularity online led to her publishing deal with Bloomsbury.

 

Links:

Sarah J. Maas Official Website

Sarah J. Mass’ Blog

Sarah J. Maas on Twitter

Sarah J. Maas on Instagram

Sarah J. Maas on Tumblr

Throne of Glass on Facebook

 

Source: I purchased a copy of this book.

Categories
Book Club Pick

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

Book Club Pick: November 2015

Tomorrow When The War Begins

Book Details:

Title: Tomorrow, When the War Began

Author: John Marsden

Series: Tomorrow series (Book #1)

Country: Australia

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Australia

First Published: 1993

Pages: 286

Publisher’s Description:

The astonishing adventure begins . . .

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton wants one final adventure with her friends before the school holidays are over. Packed in Ellie’s parents’ Land-Rover, they drive to a famously beautiful camp in the hills.

Returning to their home town of Wirrawee, the seven teenagers realize that something is seriously wrong. Their world has changed forever.

Would you give up everything? Would you fight? Would you sacrifice life itself?

TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN asks the questions you may one day have to answer.

 

Review:

The novel is narrated by seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton as she documents in a journal her experiences during a military invasion and occupation of Australia.

Tomorrow, When the War Began takes place in the fictional small rural Australian town of Wirrawee. Ellie and her high school friends Corrie, Homer, Lee, Kevin, Fiona and Robyn wanting one last adventure set out to go camping in a remote area of the bush dubbed by locals as ‘Hell’.

One night they see a large number of planes flying overhead without lights. Although they discuss this the next morning they think nothing more of it. When they return to Wirrawee they find the town is deserted, as they return to each of their homes they find their parents are missing, power is out, and pets and livestock are dying.

The group soon learns that Australia has been occupied by unidentified foreign military force and their families have been taken prisoner. Marsden deliberately does not identify the country or countries invading Australia nor does the novel cover the war from outside Ellie’s perspective other than what she learns through her friends.

This novel is not about war, it is about how eight* young Australians react to war. *Fellow student Chris joins the seven following the invasion.

Marsden was watching an ANZAC Day parade and observed a large number of teenagers present. He wondered how they would react if they were in the same position as their grandparents. Marsden believed that today’s teenagers would “dig deep and find reserves of initiative, maturity, responsibility and even heroism”. He also wrote Tomorrow, When the War Began as a response to the negative representation of teenagers in the media.

Although the novel does feature violence, it is not graphic in its portrayal of the horrors of war. It focuses more on the characters internal struggles, such as Ellie battling with having to take someone else’s life in order to defend her own. The novel does feature some romance between the teenagers as Ellie develops feelings for Lee, Homer is smitten with Fi, and Corrie and Kevin continue their relationship. Ellie writes the journal as an official record of their experiences, rather than a personal diary, so her personal feelings of romance do seem a little out of place. It would be quite awkward for Lee to read this official record I would imagine.

The novel was released in 1993 and other than that today the characters would have mobile phones and wireless internet connections it has not dated.

In 2010 a film adaptation written and directed by screenwriter Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, Australia) was released. A television adaptation is currently in post production and will screen on ABC3 in Australia in 2016.

Tomorrow When the War Began poster

Links:

John Marsden Official Website

John Marsden on Facebook

 

 

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.

 

Categories
Book Club Pick

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

Book Club Pick: October 2015

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummerBookCover

Book Details:

Title: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Author: Lois Duncan

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: United States of America

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

First Published: 1973, revised edition with modernised text 2010

Pages: 200

Publisher’s Description:

They didn’t mean it. They didn’t mean to hit the boy. There was a party, and it was an accident . . . but they had futures to protect. So Barry, Julie, Helen, and Ray swore one another to secrecy. But now, a year later, someone knows. Julie receives a haunting, anonymous threat: “I know what you did last summer.”

The dark lie is unearthed, and before the four friends know it, they need to outsmart a killer . . . or they will be the next to die.

 

Review:

Four high school students, Julie, Helen, Barry and Ray are returning from a party when they accidentally hit a young boy riding his bike home. Other than stopping to make a call to report the accident the teens do nothing to help. Fearing the accident will ruin their lives they make a pact to never speak of the incident again.

A year has passed and the group has drifted apart. Julie has dropped the cheerleading squad and become a serious student, Helen has dropped out of high school and is the new television personality for the local news, Barry went to the local college, and Ray has recently returned after leaving town.

When Julie receives an anonymous note with ‘I know what you did last summer’ she is worried. Barry assures Julie that it is just a prank but when Helen finds a picture of boy riding a bicycle taped to her apartment door and Ray receives a newspaper clipping about the accident; the threat suddenly seems more serious. And when Barry is shot the remaining trio question their actions last summer and question who is tormenting them.

Duncan’s novel was first published in 1973 the version I read was the revised edition with modernised text released in 2010. The characters now have cellphones, email and their fashion has been updated. Personally I would rather have read the original version as I felt the teenagers values were not inclined with those of teenagers today.

The novel was adapted into a film penned by Kevin Williamson (ScreamDawson’s CreekThe Vampire Diaries). Released in 1997 it starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prince Jr.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer

A word of the warning – the film is very different to the book.  While the book is a thriller / suspense novel the film fits more into the slasher genre.  Duncan has not hidden her dislike for the film. Readers of the book will understand that while the reveal of the antagonist works on page this would not work onscreen.

The film was followed by a sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998). A third film I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer was released straight-to-DVD in 2006, it did not feature any cast from the previous films. Sony has plans to reboot the franchise with Oculus‘ Mike Flanagan writing the script.

Links:

Lois Duncan Official Website

Lois Duncan on Twitter

 

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.

Categories
Book Club Pick

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Book Club Pick: September 2015

Boy Meets Boy

Book Details:

Title: Boy Meets Boy

Author: David Levithan

Series: Stand alone novel

Country: United States of America

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

First Published: 2003

Pages: 192

Publisher’s Description:

He looks up at me. And then, after a beat, he breaks out smiling. “Hey”, he says, “I’ve been looking all over for you.” I don’t know what to say. I am so happy and so scared.

Paul has been gay his whole life and he’s confident about almost everything. He doesn’t have to hide his feelings like best friend Tony. Or even cope with loving the wrong guy like his other best friend Joni.

But heartbreak can happen to anyone. Falling in love changes everything…

 

Review:

The protagonist and narrator for the novel is high school sophomore Paul, who is openly gay and accepted by his family and friends. Paul has known he was gay since he was in kindergarten and ‘became the first openly gay class president in the history of Ms Farquar’s third grade class.’

Tony is Paul’s best friend who lives in the next town over. He is gay but unlike Paul, Tony’s parents are religious and are not accepting of his sexuality. It is great to see a strong friendship between two gay teenage males that is not romantic or sexual.

Joni is Paul’s other friend, when she starts dating Chuck, a classmate Paul does not approve of, it puts strain on their friendship.

The supporting characters are interesting and vivid. There is Infinite Darlene, a drag queen who is the homecoming queen and star quarterback, and Zeke the “Gaystafarian”, who performs gigs at the local bookstore.

It’s boy meets boy, when Paul is instantly attracted to Noah, the new boy at school, after an earlier chance meeting in a bookstore. Similar to boy meets girl stories inevitably boy loses boy when Paul kisses his ex-boyfriend Kyle, who is questioning his sexuality.

Paul has to set out to win Noah back. The school bookie put his odds at 12-1 of Noah taking him back but Paul is determined to gain his trust back. Despite Paul’s mistake he is a likable character.

The novel presents an almost perfect utopian world where all sexualities are celebrated and accepted.  For example, there are the Joy Scouts instead of the Boy Scouts (after the “Boy Scouts decided gays had no place in their ranks, our Scouts decided the organization had no place in our town”) and the high school has a thriving gay-straight alliance. Levithan is deliberately showing readers a world one would hope will exist in the future where there is no judgment, prejudice or discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Boy Meets Boy is dedicated ‘for Tony (even if he only exists in a song)’. ‘Tony’ is the title of Patty Griffin’s song about a young gay classmate who committed suicide. Levithan has said ‘every time I hear that song, it breaks my heart; you could say I wrote a whole novel to change one song’s ending.’

The writing is very witty, wry and quirky. Although the pace is a little slow moving at times. Ultimately it is a quirky story about love and the obstacles to love.

Links:

David Levithan Official Website

David Levithan on Facebook

David Levithan on Twitter

 

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.