Julian Fitzsimons's Reviews > Is He Or Isn't He?
Is He Or Isn't He?
by John Hall
by John Hall
Julian Fitzsimons's review
Aug 11, 2011
Read in August, 2011
I definitely enjoyed this novel quite a bit. The young adult gay genre is one that hasn't been much explored, so while other reading options are exercises in existentialism and self-discovery (some do this extremely well, others, not so much), some merely have gay characters and don't worry much about the fact. This is definitely one of the latter. What a huge relief, because if anything, media has made being gay an incredibly dramatized experience, when in reality, the "issues" that Anthony and Paige, Manhattan high school seniors, face are very much realistic of the era and ages. These issues are fluffy, insubstantial, over-the-top, and the pair take much pleasure out of them. Their unwillingness to simply end the debate over Max's sexuality is proof of this, and this touch makes the book FAR more realistic than its sappy competition. Vapid people exist. Drama queens are real. Campy gay guys? Prissy NY gals? Incorporating truths does not a bad writer make! Teenagers love to wallow in superficial angst, and while not all will enjoy this book, for those of us who have ever been incredibly stupid about a crush, had a really good best friend, or aren't ashamed of their own simplicity, you will like this book. The characters are quite likable, I find, and really, disliking them because they have money seems very much reverse-elitist. Their naivety is fairly charming, and while the plot is pretty easy to predict, this doesn't make the story any less enjoyable. To summarize, if you want a moody read about a sad gay boy and his edgy best friend, this is NOT it. If you want a fun, light read, a feel good novel that will make you laugh, then this is definitely for you.
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