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Swimming to Chicago

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Reeling from his mother's suicide, seventeen-year-old Alex Bainbridge retreats from the world around him, often finding solace on a secluded island behind his house. As an Armenian-American living in a small Southern town, Alex struggles to fit in. His close friendship with the outspoken Jillian Dambro is his only saving grace, until he meets and falls in love with Robby L ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books (first published October 1st 2011)
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D. Leigh
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Is there a way to give a book six stars? Because this book is definitely 5-plus. In my humble opinion, this is clearly a Lambda entry.

Tagged as a young adult book, I would recommend it for any age ... well, anyone 13 or older. I liked "Mesmerized" and "Accidents Never Happen" was well written but a little too dark for my personal tastes, but I LOVED this book.

David-Matthew Barnes writes beautifully, his characters are vivid and his plot is a winding road of twists and turns. I started it at lun
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
"Swimming to Chicago", playwright and author David-Matthew Barnes’ young adult novel about Alex Bainbridge and Jillian Dambro, best friends and high school seniors who dream of one day escaping from their small Georgia hometown of Harmonville, is an ambitious and eventful yet crowded and sudsy coming of age tale that examines too many issues.

There’s a lot going on with Alex. His clinically depressed mother just committed suicide. His father is spending too much time with an unhappily married wom
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Swimming to Chicago follows a tangle of characters. Gay teens Alex and Robby, their friend Jillian and Alex and Robby's parents. Alex is dealing with his mothers suicide and his newly realized sexuality and Robby who is new to town helps him cope. Jillian is unused to being separated from Alex and flaunts her sexuality and becomes entangled in a relationship with an older married man.

This was an interesting contemporary novel. It is not at all what I expected or what I usually read but I found m
Andrew Porteus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
For a book this length, I would rather the author focused more on Robby and Alex instead of trying to tackle so many characters and themes. As for the story, I liked it, until the ending.
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

I will try to keep this review as clean as possible. The implied thoughts, not as clean as the review. It would have a lot of 'hint, hint.' No Spoilers Section in this review. If you want spoilers, read the synopsis and take the hint. Or if you are really lazy, go read the summary of the book on someone else's review.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was good yet I felt that Swimming to Chicago was a little disturbing. First of all, t
Jennifer Lavoie
I'm having a hard time writing a review for this because I want to do it justice, yet I'm afraid my words won't be sufficient. There were so many beautiful pieces of imagery that stuck out and followed the characters throughout the book that it really is a remarkable piece. Though tragedy strikes the characters, they get through it, together.

First, the pink and white sandals, flowers, and everything else that seems to follow Jillian around. It shows a sense of innocence, and yet her actions are
Jon O
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay, teen
I thought the book had a good start, until more characters were introduced and the falling-in-love or smitten plots were not convincing. It felt like they were too abrupt. It was too fast for Alex and Robby. Even more silly was between Alex's father, John with Robby's mother, Martha. Or even less convincing, Jillian with Robby's unattractive stepfather. Two young boys with a child and a new life... I was not convinced by that plot at all.
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really liked the narrative. However, I read this title on NetGalley, and there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors. I don't have a final copy of this book, but really hope that the errors were corrected. Otherwise, it would really be a shame.
Aleksandr Voinov
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David-Matthew Barnes is the author of several novels and collections of stage plays, poetry, short stories, and monologues. Two of his young adult novels have been recognized by the American Library Association for their diversity.

David-Matthew has written over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. His literary work has been featured in over one hundred
More about David-Matthew Barnes...

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