With or Without You
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With or Without You

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  764 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Eighteen year-old Evan and his best friend, Davis, get beaten up for being loners. For being gay. For just being themselves. But as rough as things often seem, at least Evan can take comfort in his sweet, sexy boyfriend Erik--whom he’s kept secret from everyone for almost a year.

Then Evan and Davis are recruited to join the Chasers, a fringe crowd that promises them prote...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Simon Pulse
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
80th out of 675 books — 1,832 voters
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67th out of 281 books — 483 voters

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Community Reviews

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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Evan and Davis have been friends since childhood. Now on the cusp of graduation, they are planning to leave behind homophobic bullies and attend college in Chicago, but life has a way of changing well-intentioned plans. Evan is an artist who copies others’ work while he’s finding his own style. He meets a sweet guy who’s just perfect in every way, and while this annoys me, I figure he deserves something good out of life since his sister Shan is his parents’ favorite and...more
Evan and Davis have been best friends since the third grade. They share many things: their sexuality, beatings from bullies, and a desire to escape their lonely little town of Madison, Wisconsin. In fact, they both plan to attend the University of Chicago this upcoming fall. However, Evan has one thing Davis doesn't - a comforting and reliable boyfriend named Erik. Evan has successfully kept Erik a secret from his friends and his family for quite some time, but when Davis gets recruited to join...more
Jackson Radish
Feb 26, 2013 Jackson Radish rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shame on the ALA's GLBT Roundtable for giving this book the Stonewall Book Honor!

I read this book a few months ago and was so disillusioned by how horrible it was that I couldn't even review it or really read much of anything for awhile. I think it's important to say a few things about it, though, because I was extremely excited about reading it and was very saddened when it did not live up to what I had hoped it would be and actually was written in a way that I thought would probably do more h...more
OK, I have to say that I wasn't sure about this book at first. When I was about 100 pages in I almost put it down, but I decided to keep going and I am glad that I did.

Not that the first 100 pages was bad or uninteresting, but because it was like a chick-lit book but with two boys. For anyone that knows me, I do not care for chick-lit books or at least most of them that I have read anyway.

The first 100 or so pages was all about relationships, love, etc. But then I peeked ahead and I seen that th...more
With or Without You is a very well-written book with a dramatic and intriguing plot. The story line probably isn't appropriate for anyone younger than middle school. Evan is a high school senior, along with his best friend Davis. Both of these boys are gay and are experiencing great struggle in fitting in. Evan also has a boyfriend, Eric that he keeps from his friends and family. The author does a wonderful job of describing the hardships Evan is going through when he has to make decisions on ho...more
Doug Beatty
I did enjoy this book. I will try to post the review with little spoilers because there are some major plot points that need to be kept hidden, so that they will surprise the reader when they get to them.

This is the story of Evan Weiss, who has an interesting "friendship" with a childhood boy named Davis. They go to high school together, are both gay, and have the unfortunate condition of getting beaten up by the local high school jocks. Evan's home life is interesting, he has a sister who is co...more
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even though it's technically for "young adults." The story was fast-paced and engaging, and the main character (Evan) was very well-developed. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was set in Madison, Wisconsin, one of my favorite places in the country and the city I called home for five years.

Two main things kept me from giving this book five stars. First, besides Evan (and to a lesser extent, his best friend, Davis), I didn't feel like I really got to know...more
Lauren (Lauren Reads YA)
Read my full review here: Lauren Reads YA

I discovered With or Without You through Melissa’s and Dylan’s YouTube videos, in which they constantly raved about this book. So it’s not surprising that I had very high expectations of it… I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, though. It was just a good read for me. Not spectacular or anything.

With or Without You is a thought-provoking, realistic novel about gay teenagers, fitting in, friendship, love, and everything in between. It is also abou...more
I devoured the whole thing yesterday, staying up way too late even though the kids would have me up way too early. I just couldn’t stop reading.

Honestly, I’m not sure where to even start in this review. I think I’m still trying to process what I read, but I need to talk about it too. There was much more to this book than I realized going into it. Layers of plot that were all equally engaging. As I’ve said before there are two things that really get me when I’m reading. I’m an emotional reader. I...more
The story is detected as YA, but I don't beleive this one to be so since the boys involved have already turned 18 and are considered in my opinion adults.

The book is a powerful story that elaborates on HIV and the AIDS epidemic through the eyes of Evan and is written in first person. I found Evan confused and torn between where his priorities should lay and this alone gets him into sticky situations and messes that I'm surprised if he would even get out of them free and clear.

His friend Davis? I...more
18yr old Evan has just graduated high school. Everyone knows Evan is gay, but no one knows about his boyfriend. Not even Davis, his best friend. The two have been friends since the third grade and came out when they were thirteen. Evan and Davis have been bullied all throughout high school. They planned to move to Chicago for college but that was before Erik and the Chasers.

Evan has been dating Erik for a year. The two have a great relationship. Erik has welcomed Evan fully into his life. Evan f...more
This was a really beautiful story on love, friendship, and everything that lies in the in-between.
I liked the plot, the depth of the characters, the sudden turns on the relationships between the characters and the ending.
I also enjoyed the fact that art was so deeply involved in the book. Quotes about art, description of colours and mixture of them, paintings, and painting techniques. All of them really intrigued me. Furthermore, I loved the characters of Evan and Erik. Evan was so confused, so...more
Sean Kennedy
(2.5 / 5)

This was an odd book to read, as it felt very disjointed. It often seemed like there were two very different stories battling against each other - one a sweet teen romance and the other a melodramatic ABC Family movie that delivered its message with a sledgehammer.

It could have gelled together more had the supporting characters been less one-note. They're either bad or good with very little grey areas. The narrator's boyfriend is too good, the new kid in town is too evil, the parents ar...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia (A Blog about Nothing)
There was a lot of stuff going on in With or Without you, it wasn’t just one simple plot with a perfect ending and that’s it, there were a few little layers of plots that were all connected to our main character Evan. Evan is torn between his best friend Davis who’s gotten into a group call the Chasers, a group that’s suppose to support and instilled pride in being gay but it's nothing but bad news and their main focus is to feel free and have sex with whoever they want. He also has his perfect...more
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/?p=3147

With or Without You is an amazing, depressingly realistic portrayal of the misconceptions many people still hold regarding HIV and AIDS, even decades after it became a widely known issue. But apart from the big issue of With or Without You, it’s also the story of a high school senior trying to figure out who he is and how to make his own decisions.

There are a lot of books with gay protagonists where the focus is that he’s gay. But i...more
I really enjoyed this book because of the "good read" trifecta: great writing, great characters, and interesting story. I tend to pass over a lot of the YA books that come across my desk at work because of the hokey plots or the uninspired writing (which only reflects on what gets delivered to me, not YA literature in general!). If the synopsis on the back doesn't sound like a hundred other similar stories, I at least give the book a try.

And this book is definitely worth a try. The characters he...more
Anyta Sunday

This is a very well written book, great for a YA audience.

While the main characters are gay, this story deals more with issues of belonging, acceptance and trust. I wouldn't classify this as a romance, (i.e. Evan and Erik are already in a year long relationship when the story begins), but the story does look at the strains of keeping at a relationship (both romantic and friendship based). I loved the first real fight Evan and Eric had, it felt very real and I liked that this was shown and exp...more
Evan is gay. So is his best friend, Davis. They are not a couple, but the get beaten up and bullied mercilessly regardless of this fact. Davis hears about a group called The Chasers who meet at the Rainbow Youth Center. This group seems to offer hope for standing up to bullies, but it turns out that they have a much more sinister purpose. Meanwhile, Evan has a secret boyfriend, Erik. They have been together for a year, but Evan has told no one about him, including best friend Davis. Erik has bee...more
Alisha Davey
This book was interesting, to say the least. The plot of this story was unlike anything I had ever read before. I know that I would not use this book in a classroom because the language is quite derogatory. The book as a whole sort of bothered me. The plot surrounding Davis and the Chasers was the most disturbing part of the novel. I just did not understand why the plot had to include the males trying to catch HIV. This book did not meet my taste in general. I can see why this book won an award....more
Jul 21, 2012 Allison rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Allison by: Dylan
Maybe 4.5
Spoilers maybe? I'm not quite sure...

I had to knock off a star for the idiot that is Davis and "The Chasers"

When I heard what they were planning to do for stage 3 or whatever I was truly disgusted. Especially with Davis. How stupid could you be? Honestly. I was so aggravated and grossed out that someone would even consider doing that, that I wanted to put the book down.

BUT. Evan and Erik were such great characters I couldn't bring myself to stop the story. They are the reasons (especia...more
I throughly enjoyed the book. Although it is not compeletly authentic, at the end of the day it's a book written for teens, and truthfully they rarely are. It was a page turner, I finished it in about two nights. I enjoyed the It's a Wonderful Life quality of of Evan's boyfriend Eric, who is willing to do anything to keep his boyfriend safe, happy, and to make sure he knows he's loved. The one part of the novel that I would say is completely authentic is the relationship between Evan and Davis....more
Alice Ridge
This book was well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. There's something holding me back from giving it a 5 and I think that's only because I know I've read better books, however it's also a lot better than other books that I've rated 4 star. I find this whole rating thing really difficult.
Apr 11, 2011 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: glbtq, ya, rev
3.5 stars? This was really two novels, one of which grabbed my heart with its honesty and complexity and poignancy, the other of which was pure sensationalism. Still, worth reading for the first novel.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So I think this is a book that people need to be exposed to. It's not a perfect book but I think it says more than other books I've forced people to read.
Probably more like 3.5 stars, for some big ol' holes in the plot; but, credit is deserved for tackling a subject I've never seen examined in YA before.
Bibek Thapa

A good story about love, friendship, life and AIDS (even though the narrator irritated me most of the times).
Full review to come soon...
Jacob Lasher
A great story. Wow! I love books that make you think about what you would do if you were in that situation the characters are in.
Max (MaxAboutBooks)
I kept getting frustrated with Evan in this story and wishing he would just see what was happening and make smarter decisions. I got really angry with the leader of the Chasers and ever time he came up I wished he would go away.

I found Erik and Evan's relationship really loveable and kept hoping Evan would just leave Davis. (but then that would be a different story)

The story was gripping and had be from the beginning even though I found Davis frustrating and hated the leader of the Chasers I w...more
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Brian Farrey is the author of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, a 2012 Stonewall Honor Book and winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for Young People's Literature. His forthcoming middle grade fantasy, THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES, will be released in October 2012. He lives in St. Paul with his husband.

More about Brian Farrey...
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