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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  20 ratings  ·  6 reviews
What do you get when you cross Holden Caulfield with Johnny Rotten? None other than Seamus O'Grady, the 15-year-old, punk-rock protagonist of 85A!
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by BASCOM Hill Publishing Group
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Blake Fraina
Torchwood heartthrob John Barrowman said in a recent interview with the UK’s Daily Telegraph, "America has the most gay characters on television in any country but what I don't agree with is that a lot of them are all stereotypes."

Truer words were never spoken.

If one were to rely solely on images presented by the mainstream US media, it would seem that there’s only one type of gay male - an effete, well-manicured, sarcastic fashionista who is equally well-versed in Broadway showtunes as he is...more
Ruth Sims
John F. Kennedy is quoted as saying, “What’s the use of being Irish if the world doesn’t break your heart?” Rebellious, Irish, bullied, gay, fifteen-year-old Seamus O’Grady is full-on to get his heart broken by the world.

Seamus exists on the fringe of his family, his school, his religion, and he never really feels as if he belongs or is wanted or loved by anyone. He hates school, though he’s very bright and creative; when the bell rings his brain “packs its bags and flies off to some f--- Never...more
85A explores a day in the life of Seamus O'Grady, an adolescent struggling with life in late 80s Chicago - yet its tenor is surprisingly current. The story flows in a way that is at once aggressive and lyrical.

The city of Chicago, at the height of its segregation, features as almost a character in and of itself. This same spirit of segregation permeates every aspect of Seamus' home and neighborhood, where he reels as the resident misfit.

Seamus' parents refuse to nurture their son's artistic se...more
Jul 07, 2012 Meg rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: youth
Seamus wants to be an artist, wants to be a somebody, and dreams of escaping to London as soon as he gets out of his private prep school that he can't pay attention to. His classmates are miserable to him, his teachers are miserable to him, his parents are miserable to him, but his dreams are encouraged by his one friend and his therapist. And school might be ending sooner then Seamus dreamed.

This book is all about the events to Seamus getting out, not how the escape itself works out... maybe t...more
Annie Fyfe
This book seems to build to an adventure, but it never quite gets there. The book all takes place one day starting with the main character waiting for his always late bus. Throughout this day his life changes direction, but before all that happens there are many flashbacks. These flashbacks give the reader an idea of what his life all about. It’s hard to connect with the main character, which makes it tough to understand why he does what he does. Some of the other characters were very interestin...more
Apr 05, 2011 Melissa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melissa by: the author
Interesting. An angry book, from the perspective of a persecuted, disaffected, angry teenager who just wants to be left alone. There are a few parts that don't quite "feel" right to me but I do sympathize with Seamus...kids that angry and abused shoot people from bell towers these days, they don't idolize Johnny Rotten and fantasize about running away to London.
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