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Posts Tagged ‘Gayness’

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer.

February 25, 2019 Comments off

dogfishTo Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer. Pub. Hardie Grant Egmont 2019, Imprint HarperCollins.

This is definitely a book for the girls but boys would benefit from reading it but I doubt many will.

It’s about two pre-pubescent girls whose fathers are gay and starting off a relationship that the men hope will lead to marriage. Bett is a California girl, into surfing and the outdoor and her pet name is Dogfish. Avery is from New York full of neuroses and into indoor cerebral activities and she calls herself Night Owl.

Their fathers Marlow and Sam book both girls into a summer camp for 8 weeks while they travel through China on motorbikes to discover each other. They want their daughters to bond at camp so that they can become a family.

The book is told entirely in emails between the two girls and other characters who come into. the story. At first the girls are loath to follow their fathers’ wishes and plan to ignore each other at camp but soon discover they have lots in common and like each other.

Unfortunately their fathers’ trip to China does not go well, they fight, leaving the girls, having bonded to ponder and wonder what to do next. Will things work out? Read it and see. Superb ending.

I was mighty impressed with this book. It is very witty, beautifully structured and the action never dulls. I liked the two girls but the men were not my type. I said it is not for boys and I should elaborate – lots of period talk!!

For intermediate and high school students but YA will get a laugh and gays will hoot and holler.

Whispers by Greg Howard.

January 11, 2019 Comments off

9780241367087-1-edition.default.original-1 webWhispers by Greg Howard. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2019.

This novel for gifted intermediate readers and secondary school students, is a slow burner. It takes a while to get into it, but once it takes off, you will be hooked.

Eleven year old Riley James lives with his father and older brother in a deeply religious country community in South Carolina. There is no room to be different in this community and Riley knows that he is. He has the same feeling for boys that most boys have for girls. He is by his own admission a mummy’s boy and he clashes with his gun-toting elder brother Danny and with his father.

Crisis comes when his mother disappears and the police are constantly questioning Riley about it. He says he can remember nothing but events in this story, particularly a Stand By Me type camping trip into the woods with some other boys, jog his memory.

At the beginning of the novel is a story about Whispers told to Riley by his mother. When she disappears he retreats into his imagination and creates a bizarre fantasy explanation about things in life based on the whispers story, but reality is close at hand.

Where has his mother gone? Is she still alive? and what about his awakening sexuality? Read this intense novel and find out.

I Hate Everyone but You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin.

September 30, 2017 Comments off

I hate everyoneI Hate Everyone but You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin. pub. Allen&Unwin, 2017.

I guess this is the sort of novel that had to happen. It is written in texts and emails between two girlfriends, Gen and Ava, who text each other at all times of the day and before during and after every event in their lives. It’s the modern relationship.

Gen and Ava were friends at High School in California but now Ava has gone to film school in Boston and Gen has stayed home and goes to a journalism school. I liked and would like to know both of them.

Ava fantasizes about accepting an Oscar and thanking her parents after falling on the steps to the podium. Gen wants to write things that change the world and walk into rooms full of people who fear her. Ava is flirting with bisexuality but Gen thinks she is skating on thin ice. Gen believes men’s infrastructure is designed for failure. Each has many relationships to test their beliefs. The dialogue between them is sharp, witty, perceptive, honest with a fair dose of crying for help.

The action takes place over the first semester of College and it tests their friendship to the limit. Will it survive? In between times there is first sex both hetero and gay and the full gambit of emotions are exposed. Whats more it is enormously funny.

Some will say this novel is for teenage and young adult girls and women, but a guy would be a fool not to tune into all this feminist  wisdom. I loved it.

The authors are close friends as you will imagine and their dialogue is heart felt and real albeit at times tongue in cheek. They started comedy on the YouTube channel Just between us and as far as I am concerned they can write for as long as they want.

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan. Pub. Text Publishing, 2010.

I thought that Going Bovine by Libba Bray was about as out there as you can get. I was wrong. This co-written novel is off this planet.

I have read books by David Leviathan before notably Boy Meets Boy and Nick & Norah, in which he portrays both gay and heterosexual relationships and is really saying that they are parallel and comparable. Him and John Green do the same in this novel.

The first chapter by John Green  portrays Will Grayson as a boy who is scared to be hurt in the emotional stakes and plays his cards pretty close to his chest. His best friend is an ostentatiously gay, Tiny, a big boy who is able to get away with his behaviour without being physically abused because he is huge and his parents are filthy rich. Tiny has many relationships that all start with huge passion and end a few days later or sometimes hours later in grief.

The second chapter by David Leviathon portrays his Will Grayson as an anal retentive gay with a shocking attitude, a filthy mouth and  bitter. He has a girl friend Maura, who is as bitter as he is. This Will Grayson is having an on-line relationship with Isaac,  is madly in love and wants to meet him.

When “straight” Will Grayson is turned away from the door at a concert for being too young he goes into a porn shop across the road which happens to be the address that the “gay” Will Grayson is to meet Isaac.

When both Will Grayson boys meet their lives change for ever. Brilliant. But does the book end well? Some will think so but like me others will not be so sure. Make your own mind up, but it is definitely worth reading.

What really makes this book great is the dialogue. It is sharp, it is bitchy, it is funny, it is cruel, it is intelligent, it is cool, it is hip, it is everything you want to say yourself, but the words never come. You will smile and laugh at the interaction between the characters.

The contrasting heterosexual relationship in this book is between “straight” Will Grayson and Jane. It is a “slow burn” relationship in which Will cannot make up his mind and when Jane is interested in someone else things rapidly change. Compare this to the gay relationship which is fast, furious, passionate and over before it’s begun.

Green and Leviathan have written a winner but not everybody is going to think so. The language will deter some, but heavens it is life. Definitely Senior secondary in appeal.