I am vociferously passionate about good books. And I hate adverbs.
Apart from the fact that I truly enjoyed the scenario of a town of people who mostly seem cool about teenagers, life and sexuality—also when this sexuality is being gay—it was with great appreciation that I read this book.
I read it with a smile on my face all the way through. This does NOT happen very often in stories where the main character is a gay teen, and it is most certainly something I would wish to see more often.
The power of Positive.
Yes, gay teens do usually NOT have this kind of life. But it is completely possible, and unless we never see what it could look like, we will never get there.
Paul's friend Tony's parents, deeply religious, seem to do what many do: they read the Bible and it says man shall not sleep with man like with a woman. And they take that to heart. But in all honesty, Tony's mother should have been quiet, and with a scarf to hide her hair, because the Bible also says that a woman shall not speak nor show her hair in public. So please, either take in ALL that is written in the 2000-year old book ALL ITS PARTS, or at least, interpret it with a modern eye.
You can't just *choose* the parts of it that fit you, and gloss over the rest.
Your child is beautiful. Love him. Period.
Now, what I adored in this book was also the brilliant use of words. I do so like well-brushed prose.
"She's old enough to wear make-up, but she hasn't figured out yet how to wear it well."
And also a turn of phrase like:
"Tony and I figure out the best thing a straight boy with religious, intolerant parents can do for his love life is tell his parents he's gay. Before Tony's parents discovered he was gay they wouldn't let him shake hands with a girl. Now if he mentions he's doing something with a girl—any girl—they practically pimp him out the door."
How can you not love that? Both the wording and the content is sheer brilliance. It gets poetic at times, and it is with great relish I read things like
".. the streets decorated with mailbox shadows and just-fallen leaves." Just beautiful.
I shall end with what is a great quote to live by:
"I find my greatest strength in wanting to be strong."
Yes, there is power in this book. The power of wanting to be strong, of loving and the power of what, for me, will always be the most important, and what makes life worth living:
You stand up for your friends. You stand up for your friends.
Brilliant book, on all levels.