The book is unapologetically sexual, and yes, graphic. But the graphic-ness is less gratuitous than frank. Protagonist Rick's telling of his journey of self-discovery is equal parts messy, confounding, humiliating and joyous, like sex itself. I like how, even though he knows he's gay pretty early on, it doesn't stop him from dabbling in some gray areas. Again I know that this isn't a YA title, but it reminds me that the best YA books give the reader enough credit to work with ambiguity. Of course Rick's relationship with a teacher probably wouldn't go over too well in a title meant for young adults, not without much harsher consequences. And the treatment of it might have been a bit different had it been, say, a heterosexual relationship between a male teacher and a young girl (that's a whole other post to be written). But the story is what it is, and it comes across as entirely realistic. I'd definitely recommend this one.
Work-in-progress confession time: it's not going so well, kids. It seems that the nearer my due date, the less interest I have in focusing on... anything. I might have one last creative burst in me, I haven't given up, but I can't imagine I'll be too upset if I don't finish the draft before I finish hosting the baby. One day it will really really be done, but when that day will be I don't dare speculate.
Next up on the reading block (where focus never seems to be a problem for me): Just Kids, the memoir by Patti Smith, who is one of my personal heroines. I've been really excited to read this one. And when I went to pick it up, I was surprised to find John Green and David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson waiting for me like the library equivalent of a bonus onion ring in my french fries. Delicious.
Written material copyright 2010 Dawn A. Emerman