Paul defines his life by his Christianity. When he's not hanging out with his girlfriend (chastely of course), he's reading scripture, singing in t3.5
Paul defines his life by his Christianity. When he's not hanging out with his girlfriend (chastely of course), he's reading scripture, singing in the church choir, or praying. He plans to be a minister one day so that he can share Jesus' love with others. Not even the death of his mother could shake his faith.
However, when an openly gay student named Manuel transfers to Paul's high school, he begins to question all of his beliefs, including which commandment is more important, "Love one another as I have loved you," or "Man shall not lie with man?"
On the whole, it was too wooden, didactic, and cliched, but it would definitely serve as a good starting point for teens who want to explore issues of Christianity and sexuality. In fact, it often felt like nothing more than a list of Christian talking points and GLBT counterpoints with a plot and characters tacked on as an afterthought....more
Completely and utterly unrealistic, but for some reason I liked it anyway. Told through emails and letters, this is the story of "brothers" T.C. and ACompletely and utterly unrealistic, but for some reason I liked it anyway. Told through emails and letters, this is the story of "brothers" T.C. and Augie, the former a rabid Red Sox fan whose mother died when he was six, the latter a gay-but-he-doesn't-know-it fan of all things Broadway. Despite not being related by blood, over the years they've managed to mesh their families into one big extended family. As they start growing up, the time comes to figure out if there's enough room in that family for others, including Ale, the prickly new girl in school, Andy, a jock who just might have a crush on Augie, and Hucky, a deaf 6 year-old who lives in a foster care facility, and is sure that one day Mary Poppins will arrive to take care of him.
The three main characters, especially T.C., are more mature than their ages would dictate, the parental figures' positivity, selflessness, and acceptance is completely over the top, and the portrayal of high-school romance is pretty disingenuous, but despite all its flaws, it's a really sweet book. Good choice for when you're in the mood for a fluffy escapist fantasy....more
Noah's beliefs couldn't be more different than his conservative father's. While his father is 'Bible Answer Man', the host of a popular religious radiNoah's beliefs couldn't be more different than his conservative father's. While his father is 'Bible Answer Man', the host of a popular religious radio show, Noah isn't sure he believes all - or even most - of what the bible says. He goes to church because he has to, and hangs out with the youth group because it’s the only time he gets to see the girl he has a crush on, but he can’t stand the hypocrisy of evangelical Christians, especially when it comes to gay rights. Noah thinks he’s totally okay with homosexuality, but when he learns that his new friend Will has a crush on him, his anti-homophobic convictions are put to the test.
What takes this book beyond your typical Christian vs. gay polemic/problem novel is the mystery surrounding who is responsible for a string of hate crime murders against local gay teenagers. Is it the deranged caller who has been calling Noah's father and ranting about gays, a member of the local branch of the Westoboro Baptist Church, or someone else entirely?
The book is pretty preachy, and Noah is awfully self-righteous (in that typically teenage way), but the mystery is suspenseful and it's very cool to see a straight male character making a stand against homophobia. I think Lurie will mostly be preaching to the choir with this novel, and it isn't the deepest book ever, but it's a solid read for teens who are interested in murder mysteries, religion, or GLBT issues....more