Julie's Reviews > Money Boy

Money Boy by Paul Yee
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's review
Dec 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: glbt, young-adult, romance, contemporary-lit, coming-of-age, books-for-guys
Read from May 01 to 16, 2012

This is an interesting take on gay YA fiction, as it incorporates other challenges like being from a foreign country and parental abuse of the verbal persuasion.

Ray is Chinese and lives a pretty comfortable life in Toronto, but he hides the fact that he is gay from his super conservative ex-military father and his friends at school. Most of his time is spent playing online games which help him forget his true identity. Eventually, his father discovers that Ray has been visiting gay websites and when confronted, Ray chooses to run away, believing that living on the street would be better than with a father who doesn't understand him.

Ray clearly underestimates the challenges of homelessness and is robbed and broke within the first day or two. Too proud and afraid to go home, he bounces from shelter to shelter by night while navigating the gay neighborhoods of Toronto by day. When he meets an older man who seems like he wants to treat him right, Ray unwillingly becomes a "money boy" and begins working for a pimp. Although his time as a money boy is short, it changes Ray forever.

This is a short book and the language is pretty simplistic. I believe the purpose of that is to reflect the fact that Ray is 1.) not a native English speaker, and 2.) a male narrator. Men relate stories differently than women do, and even though he's gay, I wouldn't expect him to necessarily provide an in depth version of events--it's just not realistic of his character.

This would be a good addition to a GLBT collection.

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05/14/2012 page 112
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