I liked this novel as I thought what occurred inside its chapters were realistic and I thought even though the dialogue was not in quotations, it added a subtleness to the novel. Mike and his family had just moved to Virginia and he was a freshman at school. He was close to his younger sister Toby, and he walked her to her middle school when the weather allowed him to. Mike found friends easily enough but it was Sean who caught his eye and soon the two of them were partners in French class working on a classroom assignment. Mike’s parents are church attending individuals, dragging their children with them when they saw fit. Mike’s father was a man who liked to rub elbows with the men at church, he wanted to make a good appearance with those he met and those in the community. Victor liked to make trouble for Mike at school. Victor was Mike’s thorn. Working on their French assignment one evening, Sean makes advances toward Mike. Mike was bewildered and stunned at first but Mike had been eyeing Sean and what Mike had just felt was something he knew he could not ignore. An intimate secret has just been created, if only the two of them could keep it between themselves.
Mike’s family becomes major players in Mike’s life as he deals with his sexuality. There were times I was so ticked off at Mike’s father yet I knew exactly where his father’s position was coming from. His father was narrow-minded, he was all about appearances and he thought he was doing what the good book told him to do. I really liked Toby, they had a great relationship and I am glad that she stood by him. The novel told the story of what it is like to love, to suffer, to fight for your right to be heard, to be different, to be one of many and to be a friend.
Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this novel, I greatly appreciated it. This review is my own opinion of this novel.