Tag Archives: LGBT

Will Grayson Will Grayson

It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets.  When fate delivers them both tot he same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurling in new and unexpected directions.  With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.

Let me say that this book wasn’t what I expected it to be.  I was expecting a typical YA novel, and I was a bit leery of the co-authorship of this book.  In my reading adventures, co-authorships usually end up crashing and burning.  And despite what all the reviews of this book had touted, I wasn’t really ready to believe that this book was amazing.

Can I apologize to John Green and David Levithan for even thinking that?

This book was absolutely stunning.  I read it in a single night, literally as soon as I got off of work.  I have this really annoying (for drivers and other pedestrians) ability to read while walking, on the skytrain, and traversing crowds down stairs.  I could probably read while practicing yoga, although I have yet to test this theory out.  Anyways, where I was going with this is that I only use this super-reading ability when a book is absolutely stunning and I cannot put it down lest I miss something.

Will Grayson is a normal teen boy with one stupendously gay best-friend Tiny, who pretty much runs most of Will’s days.  And there’s also Jane, the girl in their small group who Will has on again/off again feelings of attraction to.  When Tiny begins planning the school’s biggest musical debut Tiny Dancer, Will is dragged out of his two rules: 1) Don’t care too much and 2) Shut up.

will grayson is a depressed, medicated wreck who hangs out with maura during the day, and talks with the love of his life Isaac at night… except that he’s never met Isaac.  they met online and have been talking over the internet for the last year.  when they finally have the chance to meet, things don’t go quite as will had planned…

Tiny Cooper is just epic.  No more need be said.

I won’t say anymore because I think I’ve hinted at enough things that just have to be experienced by others when they read this book.  I will say that I definitely cried somewhere in the vicinity of chapter 7.

Overall, I think that this book is important for young people… regardless of their sexual orientation.  It is a book about relationships, about trust, about love.  Young people will be able to read this book and think to themselves, “Hey, I’m not the only one with these problems.”  Or maybe it will help them realize that even the guy who is always helping others out might every now and then need help as well.  Go Tiny!

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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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Filed under New Fiction @ SGSS