It wasn't bad. The only thing I found silly was when the narrator was having a period. It was described in a way that as soon as the cramps started, s...moreIt wasn't bad. The only thing I found silly was when the narrator was having a period. It was described in a way that as soon as the cramps started, s/he (using this because of the biological inconsistancy highlighted by this very scene) was instantly bleeding through the crotch of the pants. That's not how it works... lol usually cramps precede any blood, and aren't a sign that OMG it started!(less)
I'm a little bit unsure just how much I enjoyed this book. I did read it in a day, and it's not poorly written or anything, though I felt the story ha...moreI'm a little bit unsure just how much I enjoyed this book. I did read it in a day, and it's not poorly written or anything, though I felt the story had more than a few situations that just reeked of hypocrisy, and the narrator just didn't pick up on them at all, when there was so much potential for self reflection and character growth. I did enjoy what happened between the narrator and her half sister. I felt the situation with CeCe was fairly well done, at least comparative to other LGBT fiction, where the love interests just fit together without any problems at all (love at first sight situations, it was different here). For now I'll leave it at 4, because eh, it was a good read.(less)
As far as novels go, the voice is truly unique, and frankly the subject matter is pretty hilarious once you figure out what the title is referencing....moreAs far as novels go, the voice is truly unique, and frankly the subject matter is pretty hilarious once you figure out what the title is referencing. I'm not faulting that or the subject, or even the voice itself, really. My issue is with the age of the character and the voice that is matched with it.
So in the novel, Pete is thirteen, right? Um, so, like, don't thirteen and fourteen year olds go through sex education? Shouldn't they kind of know what their body does during puberty? Why is a thirteen year old calling his penis a "dink"? Why is he calling masturbating "making sperm"? Why does he seem so surprised about the changes his body goes through?
That's my big issue. This guy reads like a little kid. And that's fine. Except he's not a little kid. He's thirteen. ._. If the author had written this from maybe an 8 to 10 year old's point of view I could have bought all this a little more, but I was watching porn at twelve and knew all about the reproductive changes I was going through. I never called my genitals pet names. And I didn't talk like a little kid.
But hey, maybe it's just me. Don't let it knock down the story, just keep in mind it doesn't quite feel age appropriate.(less)
Thinking Straight is a novel that starts out really slow, boring even, and slowly works itself up into a fervor that incorporates some dark themes and...moreThinking Straight is a novel that starts out really slow, boring even, and slowly works itself up into a fervor that incorporates some dark themes and quite a bit of tension. It was a page turner for me, which as far as I'm concerned, means the author did something right. Though I should say as well, what ends up happening in the novel is not at all what I was expecting to get into when I started reading it. It's not a bad thing. Just it took unexpected turns.
The characters, for the most part, were engaging. Most of them felt pretty believable, and I like that most of the ones who were introduced were given enough "page time" to be developed a little and for us readers to learn why they're in the program.
That said, I had some big issues with the infallible narrator, as well as his so called love interest.
I'm not doubting that teenagers can fall in love. When I fell in love for the first time, I was twelve, and ten years later I still love that person, even though I know she can't love me (straight girl problems). Even so, I found the relationship played up between Taylor and Will difficult to accept as realistic.
As a protagonist, Taylor is too "perfect". He's so faithful and sure of himself that he has little room to develop within the novel. True, he has his chances to grow stronger, but it is his positive aspects already there that grow. There is nothing that changes from his previous life, and if there had been, I think the novel would have been stronger.
Taylor is so sure of himself and his sexuality, even though he apparently only realized two years before the book starts, that all he needs to do is look at another boy in class to "know" that he is his one true love and that they will be passionate for each other. The first time they meet to "study" at his home, they have sex. I mean, they "make love". The author painfully overuses this phrase throughout the entirety of the novel.
I don't doubt that sometimes guys will look at sex like that... but they're teenagers, they're young, and because they have sex the *very first time they meet*, I felt that it was all their relationship was based on. Yes, they had some tender moments, but they weren't monumental in developing them as characters. For gay teenagers, they eased into things way too easily. There was absolutely no hesitation, absolutely no second guessing. They just did it. And they did it *a lot*.
(view spoiler)[At one point in the novel, Taylor is in the bathroom, crying about how much he misses Will (which, by the way, he does a lot too, and it is absolutely irritating). He notes a few things about him that he likes, but he also says he longs , "to fill my hands with his hair and my mouth with his dick". Um. What? Look. This just felt so... awkward. I'm sure there are people like that out there, but it didn't feel real. It felt like he was just longing for sex. And yeah, sex is an expression of love. But they're teenagers who met the previous school year. They barely know each other, in terms of length of time they've been going out. It just felt like the wrong kind of reason to cry over something . . . (hide spoiler)]
And if it was just them having sex that was the problem, it wouldn't be so bad. But like I said, they have a lot of sex. A lot. Sometimes two or three times in a short period of time. Reardon, there's a biological thing males have to deal with called the refractory period. Especially being teens and being fairly new to being sexual, it just didn't feel probably that they'd be able to go at it five times in an hour. Just saying. <_<
So yeah. The book did rely on a lot of cliches, flowery language, and sometimes I feel the themes in the novel kind of reflected a little too much on the author, but I think it's worth it to give the story a chance. Once it gets going, it becomes easier to ignore the flaws, and even though Taylor seems like way too perfect a person, you can really feel for the other characters and their struggles, and that's the novel's biggest drawing point.(less)