Love Drugged by James Klise


If you could change who you are, would you?

Should you?

Fifteen-year old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest secret – he’s gay.  But when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie does all he can to change who he is.  At first, it’s easy.  Everyone notices when he starts hanging out with Celia Gamez, the richest and most beautiful girl in school.  And when he steals an experimental new drug that’s supposed to “cure” his attraction to guys, Jamie thinks he’s finally going to have a “normal” life.

But as the drug’s side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he’s created – and could hurt the people closest to him.

So I haven’t read this book yet.  However, one of our staff members has, and she gave it glowing reviews.  Think Apollo glowing.  Which makes me really excited to read it! And while this book might not become the most popular book in our collection (or maybe it will?!), what I hope is that one student will read it… and it will help them, or change their way of thinking, make them more tolerant or understanding of others.

And since I haven’t read it, and therefore cannot give a review (or even a detailed synopsis) I’m going to let James Klise do it for me.

2011 STONEWALL HONOR AWARD

2011 ALA RAINBOW LIST OF RECOMMENDED GLBTQ BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Love Drugged is about a Chicago teenager named Jamie Bates. Jamie’s gay, but he’s in no hurry to come out to anyone. In Jamie’s view, what’s the rush? He’s only fifteen.

But when a classmate learns this secret, Jamie freaks out. He responds by doing what generations of gay boys have done before him: He begins dating a girl in his class, Celia Gamez.

Celia is fantastic. She’s beautiful, funny, smart. Plus, she’s super into Jamie.

Courtesy of Celia’s dad, a wealthy doctor, Jamie gets his hands on a new drug – a little blue pill that promises to “cure” gay men. Love Drugged chronicles the weeks and months of Jamie’s experiment with these pills, at the same time that his relationship with Celia heats up.

One teeny-tiny problem? The only way Jamie can get more of the drug is to steal it.

And that’s not easy to do when the two things standing in the way of Jamie and the drug are Celia and her dad, neither of whom must ever find out that Jamie is gay! Or wait – WAS gay.

Oh, and there’s one other thing: Without meaning to, Jamie develops a major crush on an older classmate named Ivan. NOT exactly part of the new plan…

Part comedy, part thriller, part star-crossed romance, Love Drugged examines the dangers of a life constructed almost entirely of lies … especially the lies we tell ourselves.

Question: WHY does Jamie enter into this romantic relationship with Celia?

Answer: Because he is confused and afraid.

It’s normal for ANY teenager to sometimes feel confused or afraid – and especially if you’re a teen who is gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered. This was certainly true back in the 1980s, when I was in high school. It’s still true now.

I wanted to write a story that could explore those feelings in a way that was both meaningful and entertaining. That was my goal for Love Drugged.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

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