The Perfect Family
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The Perfect Family

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  49 reviews
What happens to the "perfect family" when the future suddenly changes in the most unexpected way?

Seventeen-year old Jamie Davidson doesn't think being gay should be such a big deal...until he comes out to his parents and friends. Even as Jamie celebrates no longer needing to hide his true self and looks forward to the excitement of openly dating another boy, the entire Dav...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Bold Strokes Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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Trevor Willson
Couldn't decide whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars, in the end decided upon three for a number of reasons:

1) A bit too much religion in it for my liking
2) Twists in the story were flagged well in advance
3) Not all of the main characters were well rounded

Having said this though it was a heart felt story, about a teenage boy coming out to his family and the impact this had on all his family and friends.

The ending was a bit too syrupy for my liking, but it was an easy read, and gave you food fo...more
Elisa Ramblings
I remember Kathryn Shay from the time I was reading het romances, I think I probably read one or two too, so when I saw this novel by her, it picked my interest. I was curious to see how someone who is used to write straight relationship would face the task to move to gay relationship. In a way she didn’t, The Perfect Family, as the same title suggests, is a family story more than a love story, and if we want to search for a romance, the one who is fully developed is that between Maggie, the mot...more
Dixie LoCicero
This is a true story about a family (Mom, Dad, sons Brian & Jamie) in a relatively conservative smaller town. Brian is a baseball star, Jamie is in to acting in plays. Dad is a staunch Catholic, following the tenets of his faith strictly. Mom comes from a family where the mother kicked out her sister for dating a married man & later marrying him. She hasn't seen her older sister in many years, has no idea where she lives. This has caused her to question Catholicism as the priest encourag...more
Why I read this book: I love participating in Pump Up Your Books book tours and when I saw Kathryn Shay's name as one of the authors I really wanted to be a part. I've read at least 3 of her books and enjoyed all of them and thought this book sounded interesting.

How is this book driven: Character all the way - the events are important, but what the characters do and go through is pivotal to the book.

My Thoughts: The Perfect Family is a very impressive endeavor on Ms. Shay's part. She has taken a...more
From My Blog...[return][return]The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay is a novel based on the Davidson family and what happens within the family when they learn their son is gay. Jamie is 17 years old and believes it is time to inform his family and friends that he is gay. Jamie is looking forward to being able to be himself around those he cares about, yet unprepared for the intense and diverse reactions to his announcement from family and friends alike. The Perfect Family takes a look at how one a...more
Mar 30, 2011 Hilcia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Hilcia by: Lori
he Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay is a contemporary family story about the struggle a family goes through while coming to terms with their seventeen year-old son Jamie's sexuality after he discloses that he is gay.

Mike and Maggie Davidson have, what many would consider, the "perfect family." They love each other and their sons, athletic eighteen year-old Brian and artistic seventeen year-old Jamie. Both are excellent young men, well-liked, doing well in school, and getting ready for college. As...more
The Perfect Family is a book that is hard for me to review. The author goes to great lengths to point out that it isn’t biographical. As a mother that has no issues with her children’s homosexuality and no religious indoctrination to overcome, I could not relate to any of the issues that seemed to stand so solidly in the way of loving their children ~ no matter what. I suspect that I may be in the minority with this view, which means the book may be a lot more meaningful to other readers, but fo...more
Do you want to cry? Have your heart squeezed tight? Well, this is the book for you! There is no way you can read this book without crying, absolutely no way... at least for me. I started reading this book this morning and could not put it down. I cried on the train, I cried on my conference call (was totally not paying attention), I cried during lunch, I cried on the way home... I have the biggest headache right now O_o

This is the story of a family that had their foundation rocked when the young...more
Lynda Kelly
I enjoyed this and the subject matter was close to home, too, as my brother was gay. I saw a lot of complaints about the religion in it but it was quite a big feature of this family's upbringing and way of life so there was no way it could have been left out. I'm the least religious person you're ever likely to meet and I managed to cope with it !
It was interesting how they coped with Jamie's announcement each in their own separate ways. I empathised with Brian because I was quite put out when m...more
This book feels a bit rough around the edges, especially when it tells instead of shows. On the other hand, it's a fascinating read, about a Catholic family's reaction when their son comes out of the closet.
The Davidsons have a perfect family, until high school junior Jamie announces that he's gay. His mother Maggie is supportive, yet troubled by her devout husband and older son's reactions. Dysfunction reigns supreme in their extended family as everyone comes to terms with Jamie's sexual orientation.
THE PERFECT FAMILY is a heartwarming, albeit completely predictable tale of a family in crisis. Kathryn Shay appeared to try to write a novel to encompass every stereotype and prejudice, and in doing s...more
Anthea Harms
A mother’s fight against the prejudices of the family, community and Catholic Church when her teenage son “comes out” and informs her family that he is gay.
Very well told and quite educational about the challenges she faces with a gay son. The emotional price she pays and her conflict when her husband tries to accept his son’s sexual orientation but battles with the conflict it creates with his religion. The brother’s inner conflict with the love for his brother and the acceptance of his friends...more
Kim Hammond-beyer

story about a Catholic family handling several issues, main one being son coming out. read it all it one sitting, drew me right in, wanted to know what happened. very worthwhile read for anyone. it's part autobiographical and part stories from others. addresses suicide, high risk with all teens but esp anyone gay or different in other ways and likely to be bullied. does have a positive ending, which is unfortunately not as common as it should be. maybe this book will help change tha...more
I had a hard time deciding between 2 & 3 stars for this book. I would give it 2.5 stars if goodreads would let me! I appreciate what Shay is trying to do, but it seems too contrived. Her characters are stereotypical & just like every other homophobic bully, confused/angry parent, judgmental Christian, supportive parent, progressive Christian, confused friend, etc. - they are either too nice, too harsh, too perfect, too ignorant, etc. I'm glad that it is an accurate portrayal of what coul...more
Rick Taubold
This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I can't fault it for any reason. Kathryn Shay has taken a personal experience in her own family and produced a superb emotional rollercoaster of a novel. More novels should be written this well. The characters, the writing, and the storyline are superb. By way of reader enticement, I'll simply quote ffrom the cover blurb: "Seventeen-year-old Jamie Davidson doesn't think being gay should be such a big deal...until he comes out to this parents and...more
Aunty Janet
''What happens to the perfect family when a teenage boy comes out? That’s the question the Davidson family must deal with. Jamie, the gay son, just wants to live his life out of the shadows. Maggie, mother, teacher and psychologist, will do anything to protect her child, even side with him against her husband. Mike, a loving, giving father, can't reconcile his beloved Catholic Church’s indictment of homosexuality with his deep unconditional love of his boy. And Brian longs for things to go back...more
Book Binge Blog
This is the coming out story of a teen who lives in what appears to be the perfect family but the coming out throws the family into turmoil and at times it feels like it will never get any better.

Jamie decides that it’s time to tell his parents that he’s gay. He’s known about his sexual orientation for a while but since he never met anyone he wanted to date he kept the information to himself. When he does finally meet someone that he falls for he knows it’s time. But the coming out isn’t anythin...more
Perfect. Utterly perfect. I don't think I've ever read a book that's portrayed the process of a teenage boy coming out to his friends and family that is as real, true and heartfelt as The Prefect Family. There was always something that was just not right with other books. Family accepting things too easily, or not at all. Friends as well. Or the gay teen being too hard on himself, wanting to change. Not so in this one.

Jamie is sixteen years old and has figured things out - he's gay, and he's don...more
After reading MM romance for months now, this was a really interesting detour! I really enjoy reading about the coming out experience for men, but this was the first book I've read that tells about that experience from the rest of the boy's family's point of view.

Maggie and Mike are middle class, church-going, suburban parents with good jobs and settled lives. Their two high school sons, Brian and Jamie, are good students, popular, well-adjusted, and never get into trouble. It is "the perfect f...more
I made it to page 25 and that was a struggle.i already know that the plot is about a gay teen who comes out to his family.
The dialogue is ridiculous, the glowing physical descriptions of the characters is nauseating, and the characters are completely unrelatable.

Let's talk about the laughable stereotypes for a moment. Gay teen is into theatre, cares about the environment and is, of course, a Mama's boy while the straight teen is a horny, hard partying jock who has all the sensitivity of a rock...more
Julie Barrett
The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay
When her senior year son comes out she is there to support him and others are also but it has
caused such a drastic change in his other relationships with others in town and his immediate friends.
Jamie has made a pact with his friend that they would both tell their mothers today. Luke didn't and
told Jamie this. Jamie writes a journal to get his thoughts down on paper.
His mother, Maggie feels a lot of things, she's happy if Jamie is happy. Maggie would tell her hu...more
Marie Gentilcore
This was more like a 2.5 for me. It was okay mostly but there were some parts of the story I liked. The perfect family consists of Maggie & Mike and their two sons Brian and Jamie. Their perfect life hits a bump when Jamie comes out and lets everyone know he is gay. There is also a minor story about Maggie's older sister who was cast out of her family many years prior for being in a relationship with a divorced man. The story was a bit too preachy for my taste and I felt like the antagonist...more
I'll have to come up with something better later, but suffice to say this was excellent. It looks at every aspect of a teenager's coming out from the perspective of how it affects each family member individually and in their relationship with the teen, to religion and its place in the family and gay teen's life, and so many other things I can't even begin to go there without sitting for a few hours. Will come back to this for sure to update.

Shay has never shied away from hard subjects, and this...more
Alison Cairns
A sensitively written book on an extremely sensitive issue- how to deal with the coming out of a gay teenage son. This book took you through all the emotions the family were feeling, and the various situations they must face together and separately. A beautiful book.
2.5. There was a lot going on in this book, so much so that nothing was well developed and some things got lost in the mix. The focus was all over the place. Dialogue was corny and the relationship with the brothers was unrealistic. Too much religion for me as well as A LOT of stereotyping. It did read fast.
Mary Martin
Actually would give it a 3.5 rating. I felt most of the character's reactions were realistic, especially given the religious aspect. I had a hard time with the sudden attitude change from Mike. All in all, it was a lesson for me in bigotry and the repercussions of being gay. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in the reactions of people to someone "coming out", but I personally can't see what the big issue is.
Not quite four stars but definitely more than three. Damn! I hate how limited the goodreads rating system is. If they used a 10 star system it definitely would be a 7. So let's say 3 1/2 stars. Good story, albeit a bit clichéd. In a postscript the reader learns that the story is loosely based on the author's own experience of learning her son was gay & what she and her family had to deal with as a result of that disclosure. A longer & more thoriugh review will follow.

A very enjoyable rea...more
Michele Whitecotton
I thought this book was wonderful. It was a great portrayal of a normal family going through a lot of personal turmoil. They didn't always make the right decisions regarding the situation with Jaime but it is exactly as I imagine most families would react to the circumstances. I loved, loved Maggie. She was a fabulous mom. The way her character was written and the interactions she had with her whole family was incredible. I have a son who means the world to me and I would hope that in her situat...more
I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it even though some scenes weren't organic to the story. That being said, I didn't find that the "telling" parts lessened the importance or quality of the story. And while the religious storyline could be offensive to some because of its portrayal of the Catholic Church (and other religions), stories that point out non-tolerant aspects of any religion are often polarizing. I liked that we were exposed to how everyone, not just the immediate family w...more
Though I wish some parts weren't skipped and that more information was provided, it was a good read.
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Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned her first 'romance,' a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make a name for herself in a world of male journalists - and with one hardheaded editor in particular. Looking back, Kathryn says she should have known then that writing was in her future. But as so often happens, fate sent her detouring d...more
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In Too Deep (America's Bravest, #1) Someone to Believe In (O'Neil Family, #1) After the Fire On the Line Nothing More to Lose

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“went to the college to speak with your wife…she’s in dangerous water, Mike. We have to help her. Is it more than Jamie’s situation? Caroline’s?” 0 likes
“pasted on a grin. “¿Usted desea bailar?” she asked. He didn’t need Amber—who was majoring in Spanish—to translate for him. “Sí, señorita.” 0 likes
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