A good book

I don’t usually get too literary here, but I do have to say that I just read a great book, and wanted to share it with you.  Despite my own age (39), I get a big thrill out of reading young adult coming of age books.  And right now, that market is filled with confident gay teen boys.  And nowadays, many of these books are not about figuring out if they’re gay or not–most of the characters already are secure in their sexuality.  It’s just more about their place in life:  family, school, friends, and relationships.

I just finished Sprout by Dale Peck, and it was quite good.  A quick read, but the main character is witty, quirky, and insightful, deals with an alcoholic dad, moving to Kansas and being the only gay guy at his school, and falls for a boy abused physically by his father.  The relationships are complex and charming, and is extremely well written.

On a similar note, I also recommend the book Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, by James Cameron.  The title alone should be enough to captivate.  This openly gay and cynical teen tries to figure out not only what growing up means, but if he even wants to grow up after seeing what adults are capable of.  It’s sort of a Catcher in the Rye for this generation.

Since I’m on the topic, my favorite gay young adult book of all time is Dance on My Grave, by Aiden Chambers.  A multimedia book written at a time before anyone else had really done so, this story of a boy falling completely in love with another boy who may not be as into him is completely heartbreaking.  It starts out a bit slow, but picks up steam, and before you know it, it’s hard to put down.  Of course, it helps that I was going through a similar situation at the time I read it back in college, but still… it’s very good.

I like lots of other books (and movies, too).  I may make some other recommendations, if anyone’s interested.  BTW, greatest book of all time?  Even though it doesn’t have serious gay themes, Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War will always be at the top of my list.

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