"I don’t like just standing there. I want to be running. No glory in standing still."
Andrew and Andrea Morris are twins. They have a stable home life living with both parents. They do everything together as twins often to but aside from soccer which they both love, but Andy is starting to pull away from his sister wanting his own identity.
Andy is popular, a soccer star who plays the field having a revolving door of female eye candy on his arm for no longer than two months at a time. This works for a while but Andy is getting tired of the same old routine.
Ryder Coltrane is the new kid at school who just moved to New York from Texas. From their first encounter in the office to officially meeting in Mrs. Appleby’s class Andy is pulled towards Ryder. Ryder is different; he is confident, open and with a slight southern accent Andy can’t help be curious about him.
"For the rest of the class, Andrew faded out. He couldn’t get into the lesson. Instead he focused on the guy sitting next to him. Even when sitting quietly, something about Ryder attracted attention. Ryder looked over at him at the moment and grinned. He frowned and tried to breathe, a little confused. What’s wrong with me? Am I coming down with something?"
Andy and Ryder quickly start a friendship and begin to spend a lot of time together at Ryder’s as he teaches Andy to ride a horse. Ryder is intuitive with Andy and his actions/relationships at school. He begins to wonder about Andy
"Dating someone slipped your mind? Andy, do you like girls?"
and Andy begins to question himself as well. When Ryder comes out to Andy he isn’t disgusted like the thought he would be and this confuses him along with his growing feelings towards Ryder. An almost kiss in the barn after a ride throws Andy for a spin and he begins to wonder just what how he feels about Ryder. Should he be having these feelings and aren’t they supposed to be wrong?
"Why had his body reacted like that to Ryder? It had felt warm and comfortable, but Andrew knew he shouldn’t feet like that."
Andy and Ryder decide to take a chance on their relationship but keep it secret; of course that doesn’t last very long. When they are discovered it was an emotional, sticky and rough situation. I have to say that Andy’s father is amazing as are Ryder’s Aunt and Uncle. Karina and her understanding is wonderful for both Andy and Ryder, she rocks as a friend.
I know that Andrea is a tough character to like and I didn’t at first. By the end of the story you can see where she is coming from and she does redeem herself. Being so close to her twin it was not easy for her to understand that he was not the person anymore and that he couldn’t share this huge part of his life with her. I get it I do, but the urge to slap her and pull her hair is still there for what she did. ..Ugh, how could she do that to her brother?
Andy Squared is a wonderful coming of age and coming out story. The struggle that Andy deals with broke my heart as he tries to decide who he is as an individual. The issues with coming out to your friends and family is not easy and the author does a wonderful job of handling it. The story is honest, eye opening and never condescending.
"I was scared as hell. No one in their right mind would want to face what I have. Look, it’s not like I wanted to be gay. But I am. I can’t change that. I don’t want to change that. I like the person I have become. I realize that now."