Sunday, November 14, 2004

Boy Meets Boy *****

Levithan, David. Boy Meets Boy. New York: Knopf, 2003.

This was an awesome book. This is something new in the genre of gay fiction. All of the gay fiction I have read up to this point has been all about teens figuring out they are gay, dealing with homophobic people, etc. This is the first novel in which the protagonist knows he is gay, has had relationships before, and it isn't that big of a deal. The homosexuality in this book isn't the plot, it just happens to be there for most of the characters. And, in addtion to that, the characters live in a community where being gay isn't a big deal. There isn't any homophobia, except for one set of parents. The school community sees nothing odd about it, and even has a drag queen football quarterback who is made homecoming queen.

A little about the plot. This is your typical teenage romance book, only the love triangle exists between all guys. Paul dated Zack, who freaked out about being gay, and started dating girls. Paul has now moved on. He meets Noah, a new guy in school, and falls in love with him. Drama ensues when Zack decides he wants to be with Paul again. Paul, trying to be a friend, ends up in a few situations with Zack that make it appear that they are getting back together, which ruin his relationship with Noah. Paul sets out to save his relationship with Noah. In the meantime Tony, Pauls' gay best friend (totally platonic) is dealing with parents who are very religious and can't accept that their son is gay. Once they realize all of those religious retreats and evenings at Christian Youth Group were really him going out with his friends, some of whom are also gay, they won't let him out of the house at all. Paul and his friends try to help Tony out with his parents and get him out of the house.I can't say enough about this book. Really. I recommend it to everyone.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Secret of Sabrina Fludde *

Fisk, Pauline. The Secret of Sabrina Fludde. New York: Bloomsbury, 2001.

Originally published in England.

This is two books in a row that I am going to trash. It is unusual that I find 2 book I dislike this much so close together.

A girl washes up under a railway bridge in Pengwern. When she awakes, she has no idea who she is where she is. She takes on the name Abren. She wanders the town aimlessly for some time until she meets up with a homeless boy, named Phaze II. She lives with him beneath the railway bridge, where there is also a mysterious old woman who doesn't seem to move or talk. Abren and Phaze II are eventually taken in by a family with a young son after they are discovered by the police. All the while, she tries to figure out who she is. The only clue she can find is in a book she finds that has an old painting in it, of a girl that looks just like her in Pengwern, at the water. She begins to wonder if it is her, even thought the book is very old. After awhile, her mother comes to claim her and she is taken back home.

The ending is really strange and not particularly satisfying. At the end, I was left wondering what the point of story was. It is entirely possible I was missing something, but if I missed it, I think most teens would miss it too. I would have to say that skipping this book if you see it on the library shelves would be a pretty good idea.

Monday, November 08, 2004

ttyl *

Myracle, Lauren. ttyl. New York: Amulet, 2004.

I couldn't even finish this book. I read 10-15 pages at a time before bed until finally giving up. The entire novel was written as instant messages between three friends. There is no narrative to break it up, all you get is the instant messages. There is no description, just all dialogue. It gets old fast. I thought I would like it, but I don't.

I can deal with this book being written like real teens write instant messages. I can deal with no capitalization. I can deal with the acronyms. But, I would like some decent dialogue since that is all there is. My favorite line is *superflyingtacklepounce*. Brilliant. Not. Perhaps I am just getting crotchety in my old age but I don't think teens would like this book either and I can't see it holding anyone's attention for more than 15 minutes at a time.