Elisa Rolle's Reviews > Thinking Straight

Thinking Straight by Robin Reardon
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May 12, 2009

Read in September, 2008

Taylor is a young teenager from a really catholic family. He really believe in what he was taught, he believes in God and he loves Jesus, and he would be glad to be part of the church, but there is a problem: Taylor is gay and he is also in love with an high school mate, Will, another teenager who frequents the same church as him. They spend an year hiding their love, even if Will would be more bold and brave than Taylor, and he encourages Taylor to not stay in the closet, to come out but without loosing his faith in God, since accordingly to Will, God loves his sons. When Taylor finally finds the courage to come out with his parents, his father's reaction is not as good as he hopes: he send Taylor in a catholic reprogramming group, a place where the motto ora et labora is still the panacea for all the problem, a place where people try to convince Taylor that suicide is better than being gay! With the strenght of his love for Will, and a new strenght he finds in himself, Taylor tries to survive to the 42 days of captivity.

The story is a lot more involving than the previous one by the same author, A Secret Edge: here the boys unfortunately have to face all the problem of being gay in a community that believes it to be a sin, and a mortal sin. Nevertheless it's a big love story, but more than a love story between Taylor and Will, it's a love story between Taylor and Jesus, and through Jesus, with God. Even if Taylor has to face unbelievable things, he never stops to love God, and he never stops to believe. Taylor, Will and some other guys they will meet during the story, will try to build a world where the words of God are still of love and not of hate. With their courage they will change a little part of that world that rejected them, even if, probably, the ending is too much as a fairy tale rather than reality; unfortunately I believe than in the real world, a guy like Taylor would be not so lucky as he was. But it's still a drop in the ocean and a little step toward a better world.

I should say that I like more this second book than the previous one, since, even if it's more angst, and the love story is a bit in second line, all the characters in the book have their personality and concur to create a chorus of voice that represents a good part of the young adult population.

Returning back to the worldly love story, between Taylor and Will, even if it's lived in flashback by Taylor, it seems alive and I found myself searching the little bit of memories which whom the author makes Taylor relive his love. It's also very sexy without being explicit. And also very involving: I almost wept in a scene where Taylor was forced to destroy a note from Will.


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