3.75 stars (:
Thank you to Edelweiss and Little Brown for the advance copy of this book. I have been intrigued by this synopsis since the moment I heard about it. It’s not often that a gay teen is the main character of a young adult book, and it’s even more rare that that teen is so unapologetically open about their sexuality. Overall, I felt that this book was an important read but it did feel overwhelming and hectic at times.
When I first started reading this, I was immediately taken aback by how much was happening in such a short amount of time, and I found this happening throughout the book in other places. This is the biggest issue I had with this story because I felt that trying to keep up with everything that was being thrown at me made me disconnect from the overall story itself. Thankfully though, after the first hurdle at the beginning for me, these parts were few and far between. Another thing I noticed right off the bat was the frankness of the language. I had never seen a book where sexual terms were used so frequently. It was quite refreshing actually since, as the book illustrates, everyone has questions and concerns but are too embarrassed to ask.
One of my favorite things about this story was how real and authentic Jack as a character was. Especially in reaction to his horrible situation. He gives such in point real life commentary when he discusses how he cannot go to the police with his problem because gay people will not be looked at the same as straight, I clapped in my head while I read this on the train. Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way it highlighted the struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals going beyond coming out of the closet. In Jack’s emails, he talks about real date experiences and relationships that books revolving around LGBTQ+ characters do not normally touch upon.
The only other thing I had an issue with was the resolution to the climax, while there were places where Jack did deal with Pinky in the story, I felt there was no real motivation or conclusion to that part of the story. I would have liked a little bit more on that.
Overall, this book was a fun and important read that I believe should be popular in the contemporary genre.