Tag Archives: LGBT fiction

Romance for Boys: The Secret Genre

The other day I had a request from a student that really made me stop and think.

Student: “Ma’am, do we have any cool books about a boy pursuing a girl?”

Me (mentally): Twili… nope that’s a girl.  Hmmm… Hunger Ga… nope, girl.  What about Tamora Pierce’s books?… nope, Briar doesn’t actually pursue love.

After staring blindly into space for a full minute (which I’m sure made him think I hadn’t even heard his request), I had to admit defeat.  I just couldn’t think of any books off hand that had a male protagonist who was pursuing love and not being pursued by some angsty girl.  Not even a Google search was really of any help. He went away with a recommendation to check the public library, and I made it my mission to find some Romance for Boys.

This is what I’ve come up with.

1. Because, as we all know, boys are unfeeling fighting machines who are NEVER interested in anything but blood, guts and gore.

2. Because of point 1, books written for YA boys are rarely of the romantic variety.

3. If a book does have a boy pursuing love, it is usually located within the LGBT genre. Nothing wrong with that, in fact I love YA LGBT fiction and have procured some for the library.  But not what this student was looking for.

4. Reading is a girls world.  No doubt about it.

So, needless to say, that afternoon I was a little bit frustrated by my lack of research amazingness that usually allows me to find anything I want within 10 seconds by adding or deleting or completely changing my search parameters.  It was then that the little lightbulb inside my head went off and I was able to think of 2 books that we have in our library that would have fit this student’s needs to a T.

1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – yes it is considered LGBT, but the one Will Grayson is definitely straight and is after the “girl who got away because I was too blind, but now I know that I love you”.

2. Youth in Revolt – HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS BOOK???! Seriously.  I saw this movie!  I knew it was a book! I ORDERED it because it was a romance for boys! I can’t even defend myself… except with maybe an excuse about a lack of coffee.

As for my search, I’m still looking for other great modern YA books that have that perfect mixture between a sword fight to the death and winning the pretty princess.  Any suggestions?

 

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A Quick Review of Love Drugged by one of our own staff!

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!

Love Drugged

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.

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