** spoiler alert **
Perry Moore's Hero was actually kind of disappointing. Quite a few people I know had fangirled about it, so maybe I just expected too much from it. It's not a bad story, and I have absolutely no objections to young adult lit with gay characters -- my thoughts are yes please on that score. Writing-wise, though, the book just isn't that good. To me, it went by very very fast, despite the four hundred pages, and it didn't give me all that much to grab onto. That was kind of good when it came to the action scenes, but... Stuff like Ruth's death almost slipped by me because the story hurtles along at breakneck speed. The casualness with which Scarlett announces she might be pregnant makes me wince. Serious, important things just get skipped over.
It wasn't all that original, really: all the superhero characters were basically the ones we all know, but with their names changed; I've read the same situations when it comes to coming out and being gay in a million stories online; and saving the world is saving the world is saving the world. The only really new thing was that Thom Creed is gay. That part actually kind of bothered me. Everyone in this book seems to know about Thom's sexuality even before he admits it aloud, and nearly everyone hates him for it. Neither of those things are even remotely realistic. I mean, I've known for five years at least that I'm bisexual, but in all that time, no one has ever just guessed my sexuality. It's not like we have it stencilled on our foreheads. And, strangely enough, not everyone in the world is homophobic. Okay, it's a book, it's fiction, it's not meant to be realistic, but... Perry Moore is gay himself, right? I can imagine that since he's openly so, he's had some of that experience, but I can't imagine that everyone in his world immediately condemned him because he's gay, because that's just not what happens.
It also kind of made me wince when Thom's mother said that her career didn't matter because she had the man she wanted, and also at the way she dismissed any idea that Hal might be biased in thinking that she should give up her career because she's the woman and "second rate". I have no idea if Perry Moore realised how that scene would come across, but ouch.
One thing I did like a lot was the relationship between Hal and Thom. I had no trouble believing in the way Hal treated his son and reacted to his various secrets, and I actually hurt for them both in a lot of their interactions.
All in all, though, I wasn't really impressed. It's fun enough to read, and I hope it sets a precedent for books about gay characters, but I really didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. I'm giving it three stars ("liked it") on goodreads, but I don't think, if I was basing that purely on how good the book is, it should get that much.