I was so excited when one of the staff members @ SGSS agreed to write a quick review of Love Drugged. She absolutely loved it (and judging by the hits on my quick blurb of Love Drugged, lots of others are interested!) Here is what she had to say about this novel. Again, thanks so much to our staff here @ SGSS who regularly give me feedback on the novels that we bring in!
By James Klise
Woodbury Press, Minnesota, 2010
Jamie Bates is a bright and unusually perceptive 15 year-old at Maxwell High in Chicago, and it is through his eyes we are viewing the typical, unusual, happy and tragically sad world of an upscale urban high school. The clubs, the cliques, the good teachers, the other teachers, the drama and the drudgery will all ring so familiar to those readers who are there now and those of us who have been there and care to remember. Mr. Klise obviously remembers vividly what it was like and his portrayal of Jamie is heartbreakingly true.
Jamie’s struggle involves his sexuality and his valiant effort to try and become like everyone else or what he believes everyone else is like. He pursues this even to the serious endangerment of his own health and life. His story teaches us all an invaluable lesson: trust in the world to accept and value you as you are. Jamie had to go through some incredibly painful trials before he learned that neither his parents nor his friends would drop him when they found out he was gay.
This is a powerful story for any young person struggling with his or her own identity and sense of self because the word “gay” could stand for all kinds of things we feel make us different or that we feel we need to hide. In hiding his true self and his secret, Jamie almost lost his life, but by trusting in his parents and friends and coming out, he found his “self” perhaps for the first time. Poignant and painful, this is almost a parable for teens and adults alike.