Ben's Reviews > Kamikaze Boys

Kamikaze Boys by Jay Bell
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May 02, 12

Read from April 27 to May 01, 2012

Yes, we make our It Gets Better videos. Yes, we hold our heads up high when we walk through the halls. Yes, we patiently plan our escapes into new lives because these are the right things to do. But man, sometimes we want to take a bat to that damn bully's car. And sometimes we want to knock out a few of his teeth. Jay Bell's wonderful KAMIKAZE BOYS delivers on that revenge fantasy, and it's oh so satisfying when the glass starts to break and the lips start to swell. It's a love story too, of course -- one that shows how far two young men in love will go to protect one another from an unkind world.... And it's honest about the consequences.

This novel was described to me early on as a teenage Bonnie & Clyde / Thelma & Louise, and if you've heard that same thing you should know going in that those comparisons aren't accurate. This will keep you from being disappointed when a car-chase doesn't happen or a gunfight doesn't break out, like I sometimes was. So if you're hoping to see our teenage heroes holding hands as they drive over a cliff, this isn't your book. Nothing outlandish like that happens. The drama Jay Bell is going for in KAMIKAZE BOYS -- and succeeds in delivering -- is all the more gut-wrenching because it's so realistic. These are trials and tribulations that every gay person has faced, and that too many of us don't make it through. They test our heroes' love for each other again and again. Never mind gunfights -- can their love survive high school, and separation, and bureaucracy, and loneliness?

That's the real question. And Jay Bell gives us a beautiful answer. KAMIKAZE BOYS is not to be missed!
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