Book Reviews for gay Teens and Young Adults

Flesh and Bone (Luminis Books, 2015)

Flesh and Bone (Luminis Books, 2015)

Flesh and Bone by William Alton — (G,Q)

Goodreads Summary: A literary novel for young adults that deals with a despairing teen uncertain about his sexual preferences who turns to drugs, alcohol, and unreliable friends for solace.

Told in a series of images and fragments, Flesh and Bone is a raw and real portrayal of a teen struggling to find love in his life. When Bill’s father leaves and he and his mother move far away to live with her parents, his whole world implodes. His grandparents are cold and distant, his mom is distant both physically and emotionally as she deals with her own struggles, and his dad is just gone. Bill explores his sexuality with multiple partners as he searches for love and compassion and turns to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of loneliness. Flesh and Bone is a powerful tale that sheds light on the dark places of the soul.”

Amazon

May 5th (USA)

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum — (NON-FICTION, Q)

Goodreads Summary: “That’s the Stonewall. The Stonewall Inn. Pay attention. History walks through that door.

In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society.

Stonewall (Viking Books for Young Readers, 2015)

Stonewall (Viking Books for Young Readers, 2015)

People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run, filthy, overpriced bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, was one of them.

Police raids on gay bars happened regularly in this era. But one hot June night, when cops pounded on the door of the Stonewall, almost nothing went as planned. Tensions were high. The crowd refused to go away. Anger and frustration boiled over.

The raid became a riot.

The riot became a catalyst.

The catalyst triggered an explosive demand for gay rights.

Ann Bausum’s riveting exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national Gay Rights movement that followed is eye-opening, unflinching, and inspiring.”

Amazon

May 7th (USA)

Witches by A.M. Burns — (G)

Witches (Harmony Ink Press, 2015)

Witches (Harmony Ink Press, 2015)

Goodreads Summary: “Thom Woodmen, a bigfoot or Oh Mah, who lives in a human world, is bonded to Ben Steele, an average teenager. Thom has barely adjusted to his new status as a Guardian when he discovers others working against him and there’s a price on his head. Then an intruder appears in his family’s territory, and he senses strange energies coming from Ben.

While they struggle to find out who wants Thom dead, Ben is tested to confirm Thom’s suspicions—Ben has magic. Ben shows promise, but he just wants to stay the normal human within their group of friends. After more attacks, Ben begins to see how magic might help him protect Thom—if only he can learn enough before the witch who is hunting them closes in for the kill.”

 Amazon

May 7th (UK)

This is Not a Love Story by Keren David  — (B)

This is Not a Love Story (Atom, 2015)

This is Not a Love Story (Atom, 2015)

Goodreads Summary: “Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone’s heart survive?”

Amazon

May 12th (USA)

Vanished by E. E. Cooper — (B)

Vanished (Katherine Tegen Books, 2015)

Vanished (Katherine Tegen Books, 2015)

Goodreads Summary: “Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn’t stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth’s best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn’t even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney’s boyfriend, and Kalah doesn’t want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it–and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit’s suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she’s swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah’s caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.”

Amazon

May 14h (USA)

After I Wake by Emma Griffiths — (L)

After I Wake (Harmony Ink, 2015)

After I Wake (Harmony Ink, 2015)

Goodreads Summary: “Award-winning teen poet Carter Rogers has made a lot of bad choices in her life, one of which led to losing her hand to frostbite. After a failed suicide attempt, Carter wakes up and takes a hard look at the person she’s become. As her disappointment over her botched effort fades, she begins to accept herself and look forward. Righting past wrongs won’t be easy, but armed with the support of her mother and her friends, and with a new perspective on life, Carter sets out to fix her relationships with the people she cares about and the world of poetry.”

 Amazon

May 14h (USA)

 

 

Read Me Like a Book (Indigo, 2015)

Read Me Like a Book (Indigo, 2015)

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler  — (L,B)

Goodreads Summary: “Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling – that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It’s enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents’ marriage troubles. There’s just one thing bothering her . . .

Shouldn’t it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way – not Miss Murray, her English teacher?

A thought-provoking coming out story from a highly skilled author.”

Amazon

May 19th (USA)

The First Twenty by Jennifer Lavoie  — (L)

The First Twenty (Bold Strokes Books, 2015)

The First Twenty (Bold Strokes Books, 2015)

Goodreads Summary: “Humanity was nearly wiped out when a series of global disasters struck, but pockets of survivors have managed to thrive and are starting to rebuild society. Peyton lives with others in what used to be a factory. When her adopted father is murdered by Scavengers, she is determined to bring justice to those who took him away from her. She didn’t count on meeting Nixie.

Nixie is one of the few people born with the ability to dowse for water with her body. In a world where safe water is hard to come by, she’s a valuable tool to her people. When she’s taken by Peyton, they’ll do anything to get her back. As the tension between the groups reaches critical max, Peyton is forced to make a decision: give up the girl she’s learned to love, or risk the lives of those she’s responsible for.”

 Amazon

May 21th (USA)

Out of Order (Harmony Ink, 2015)

Out of Order (Harmony Ink, 2015)

Out of Order by Casey Lawrence  — (B)

Goodreads Summary: “Corinna “Corey” Nguyen’s life seems perfectly average for a closeted bisexual whiz kid with her eyes on college and a budding romance with her friend Kate. Sixteen and navigating senior year with her tight-knit group of best friends through crushes, breakups, and pregnancy scares, Corey mistakenly believes that running for valedictorian and choosing the right college are the worst of her worries. That is, until prom night, when she’s left alone and in shock, hiding inside a diner restroom, the only witness to a multiple homicide.

With graduation looming, the pressure is on for Corey to identify the killer and ensure that the crime that has changed her life forever will not go unpunished.”

 Amazon

May 26th (USA)

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton — (G)

Goodreads Summary: “When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Anything Could Happen (Push, 2015)

Anything Could Happen (Push, 2015)

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again. ”

Amazon 

May 26th (USA)

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg (Arthur A. Levine, 2015)

The Porcupine of Truth (Arthur A. Levine, 2015)

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg — (G)

Goodreads Summary: “The author of OPENLY STRAIGHT returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can’t have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn’t really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who’s long held a secret regarding Carson’s grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson’s dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the “Porcupine of Truth” in all of their lives.”

Amazon 

May 28th (USA)

Caught in the Middle (Caught in the Act #2) by Robbie Michaels — (G)

Caught in the Middle (Harmony Ink, 2015)

Caught in the Middle (Harmony Ink, 2015)

Goodreds Summary: “After a rocky start to the school year, Ben and Adam are getting their feet on solid ground, despite a lot of obstacles. Amelia, Ben’s former girlfriend, isn’t willing to let Ben go so easily. At Christmas, Amelia delivers a bombshell that keeps Adam and Ben apart over the holiday. When Adam returns from seeing his family, Ben, who avoids conflict at all cost, will not talk to him.

Adam figures out Amelia’s scheme, and when he confronts her, she retaliates by arranging an ambush in the school parking lot one night.

Ben is horrified when he sees Adam lying battered in the hospital. Adam is more than physically broken. His spirit is wounded, and he sees only the negative, the struggle ahead, and Ben’s betrayal. Healing, both in body and mind, is a long arduous road.

It’s up to Ben to convince Adam that there is still good in life and that he’ll be there to help Adam every step of the way. If Adam will let him.”

Amazon

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