Monday, August 9, 2010

Great novels with gay male characters

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a novel written by John Green and David Levithan, with each chapter focusing on a different Will Grayson. One Will is a closet gay teen with an anger problem, while the other Will Grayson is straight, but has the gayest best friend in history. One night, Will meets Will, and their lives are forever changed. The book is sincere and hilarious in ways only Green and Levithan could do. In the end, a very honest book that looks at the difficulties of being gay in two totally different ways.

King of the Screwups by KL Going is about a guy who is too perfect and thus can never live up to the expectations of his father. Sent to live with his gay uncle, in the middle of nowhere, Liam attempts to improve himself by being someone else. But no matter how hard he tries to not screw up, things continue to domino. A novel that is ultimately about finding out who you are and accepting your faults.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Brutal-Michael Harmon

Michael Harmon is one of the newer writers I have really enjoyed. His first two novels "Skate" and "Last Exit to Normal" were great coming of age novels. That trend continues with the brilliantly potent "Brutal". Brutal tells the story of Poe, a punk rocker from LA, who is sent to live with her father she never knew in rural nowhere. The story mixes a quirky cast of characters to tell a riveting story of high school life. It also protrays the reality that judging others by appearances and social status is often incorrect. The book is an honest and funny portrayal of a girl coming to grips with who she is , the family she has and the life she has lived. A must book for any reluctant reader.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Before I Fall-Lauren Oliver

The best book of the new year so far. Before I fall is a shockingly ppwerful book about a girl who dies in a car crash early in the book and then gets to relive that day 7 times. Of course, every change she makes has differing conseqences.

What makes this book so effective is not just the unique story or the powerful ending; what makes this story is that at the beginning you do not really like the narrator. She is popular and somewhat of a bitch. Oliver's vivid creation of how today's popular kids act, speak, etc is so dead-on you would think she is still in high school.

the book is also about the little things in life. The book is full of chance encounters and trivial moments of life that all balance into one crashing finale. In the end, Oliver has written a book, that like Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, will leave you questioning life long after it is done.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A powerful novel on relationship abuse

Janet Tashjian is best known for her trilogy of satirical books about consumerism with her Larry series (Pick up The Gospel According to Larry right now!). That said, I just finished her novel Fault Line and loved it. Like Patrick Jones' Things Change, Fault Line looks at the life of a girl who falls in love with a guy who seems perfect but as a major jealousy issue. The novel delves into the fact that she does not see it and by alternating viewpoints with the boyfriend, we see the mindset of not only the victim but the perpetrator. The novel uses as a backdrop the fact that are heroin Becky is attempting to be a stand-up comedian, so there is much laughter to balance the dark reality of her life.

In the end, Tashijan does something that many writers don't do, write a book in a completely different style then her other work. The novel is refreshing, comic and real. A great pick for girls in high school, yet maybe even more important for boys.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New books

I have read a few great books this past month or two. One is the funny Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff. This novel is a very funny and real look at an overweight student who suddenly leaves the world of the unknown when he he gets recruited for football. His transition is funny and the constant wonder of if he is being set up if well worth the wait. The ending, although rather far fetched, is satisfying and I hope this becomes oin of those big Coming of Age books.

Completely different is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by W. Lockhart. In this book, a shy, quiet girl decides to change her persona by becoming the mastermind of a series of pranks. Although the book is funny, the underlying message of boys only clubs is bassed, deservingly so, as Frankie has all the boys, unknowingly, do her dirty work.

Read any great books yourself lately? Drop me a line.

And Megan, congrats on being the first to comment on this brilliant website.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My all-time TOP 10 list:

1. 13 Reasons Why-Jay Asher
2. Whale Talk-Chris Crutcher
3. Quad-CG Watson
4. Paper Towns-John Green
5. The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins
6. Skud-Dennis Foon
7. I am the Messenger-Markus Zusak
8. An Abundance of Katherines-John Green
9. Raiders Night-John Lypsyte
10. Brutal-Mark Harmon

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

During the holidays I read a few new books; today I will mention two. Touching Spirit Bear and its sequel Ghosts of Spirit Bear are two books good for grades 7 and up. The first is a story about a very angry boy Cole who after one too many crimes ends up being sent to live a year in isolation in Alaska. Cole gets mauled by a bear and begins to take responsibility for his actions.

The follow up novel has him returning to his high school where bully becomes victim. Cole must try to keep all he learned from his year in Alaska as his rage begins to surface as he realizes that a year in Alaska is way easier than a couple days in high school.

Both books are written by Ben Mikaelsen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

my first post

This blog will focus on a couple things. Books for teens that I have read and think are good and updates on my plays I am writing.

So up first:
Best teen novel: 13 Reasons Why-Jay Asher
Favourite teen author: Chris Crutcher
Best Canadian teen author: Gordon Korman
Best Canadian teen novel: Skud-Dennis Foon
Best new authors: John Green and Michael Jarmon
Coolest non-fiction writer: Will Ferguson

My play:
Popular high-school senior Robyn is the puppet master, a scheming gossiper who creates rumours to entertain herself and get revenge. Told through the eyes of 12 stereotypical high school seniors we see the life altering impact that gossip has in high school students’ lives. Four separate rumours are spread each with powerful and everlasting consequences. This realistic drama mixes humour with the dark reality that life isn’t always fair and justice is not always served.
(Check out the poster, youtube clips and where you can buy it at