I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea. and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.
I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,
Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.
time spent in that before bed reading slot:
5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago 2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.
How are common themes handled?
5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power 4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates 1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.
Where would you keep it post-reading?
5-Next to my bed. 4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.
5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry. 3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.
Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):
5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy
In a young voice, perhaps too young for a high schooler, this book tells the story of Trench. It follows the same old trope of gay boy falls for straight best friend. Unfortunately, anyone well versed in this genre has been there, done that. There is of course a secondary female character, and Trent finds himself in a situation of forced intimacy. This is followed by the usual female love interest of his male crush, a device used to create tension and jealousy. It is all so trite and derivative. Then, rounding things off is the bully. The bully piece followed the tradition of a neat and tight ending where the victim casually accepts the bullying and carries the blame for the bully’s behavior. This is, like usual, a particularly callous thing when the gay population has been plagued with an uptick in bullying and harassment.
It is written in a casual, young voice, which, while a decent approach, feels a bit dead, a bit emotionless. A first person novel tend to have a large emphasis on introspection, but unlike the majority of its fellow brethren, this one offers a brief exploration of Trend’s mind, and it misses the opportunity to explore his motivations. The issue is, that without a necessary amount of introspection and a high reliance on character development, the novel felt more like a book that would have been more successful if it was written in third person. I forget who said it, but a first person novel should be avoided unless your character is truly original and offers something and contributes to the layers of the genre, rather then just slapping on redundancies.
This is most likely why I felt detached from his character. I didn’t fully understand him, and as the novel progressed I really didn’t want to know more. Moreover, there were only shades of well-developed characters. Matt, Trent’s obsession, with his lack of a defined character, felt like secondary to the plot, which was ultimately troubling seeing how he was suppose to be such a pivotal actor in the novel.
The tension of the interplay between Trent and Lana never reached full throttle, and since this was a way of engaging Trent’s sexuality, and therefore a push to out himself, I never felt that he was emotionally ready, nor was it necessary for him to come out. I’ve read a lot of this genre. A lot. A lot. The well-conceived protagonist always is in a place where he can really no longer deny himself the expression of his sexuality and sexual identity. I didn’t feel this way with Trent.
Lastly, just because of Will’s parental situation he is all accepting of Trent? Really? Really? The kid is literally cock out twice, exposing himself in a way that a lot of straight guys do with one another, but he is all happy and accepting of Trent’s sexual identity?
All and all this was an OK read, and would be great starter piece for those interested in gay YA novels. It is bland, mundane, and offers just enough for those with a budding curiosity for this genre. Equally, this book surely offers a kind and gentle start for those trying to comprehend their own sexuality/identity. For me this novel just didn’t have much spark, and because I surround myself w/ gay lit, it didn’t offer anything new.