professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Newsweek takes on YA literature

If you blinked, you might have missed it. Newsweek ran a tiny little call out box on recent gay and lesbian literature for teens. There was a brief quote from David Levithan and a mention of his own book BOY MEETS BOY. Of course, the article made it seem as if gay and lesbian characters are new to YA literature. Small mention was made of the book I just finished in galley: ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT by David Larochelle.

I made my way through the book and it was not an unlikable read. However, there was just something that did not work for me. I understand that not all books with homosexual characters has to have dire themes and consequences. BOY MEETS BOY certainly had some moments of high hilarity. But, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT just misses the mark for me. I think this would be the case even if the main character, Steven, were straight. Steven has lots of struggles in his life: he cannot seem to pass his driving test, the folks in his square dancing class are trying to hook him up with girls, and he has a crush on the new teacher at school. He insists, though, that he is not gay. When Steven does finally come out to his parents and his best friend, the reactions are not quite what he had imagined.

The story had its moments, particularly the one where Steven finds an old book in the public library that cautions parents whose child might be gay. I appreciated the humor; I just did not think it worked for this book as much as it did for Levithan's novels. I am curious to see reviews and the reactions of other readers.
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