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Way to Go

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton--in Nova Scotia, maybe--who doesn't have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny's dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has t ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Orca Book Publishers
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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  489 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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George K. Ilsley
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, gay, young-adult
This is clearly a YA book, and I have rated it on that basis. By no stretch of the imagination am I a YA. I can only wish that there had been books like this when I was growing up in some rinky-dink little town in Nova Scotia and reading voraciously. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have read this book at that time, but reading it now makes me think of some isolated gay kid, today, in some little town somewhere, who is reading this book, and is able to glimpse a glimmer of light a ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit, ebook, glbt
Ever the vigilant YA GLBT fiction enthusiast (so many letters), I try to keep my eyes and ears open for anything new in the category. It's often a hard quest, requiring star navigation and Google Maps routes. And then sometimes they just throw themselves at me. I found out about Way To Go after the author, Tom Ryan, followed me on twitter. As soon as I saw "gay" and "young adult" in the same sentence, I was in. So did it measure up? Let's see.

Way to Go is set in early/mid-90s small town Canada (
Natalie Joan
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fabulous. Effortlessly took me back to summer of 94, and made me wish I was Dan's friend. I may have cried a little. ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story about a young guy coming face to face with who he really is.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
Such an amazing, yet underrated young adult book about a boy discovering himself. Very short, but very impactful, loved the characters and the story with every inch of my heart. Would love to revisit it once again sometime in the future.. 💛
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A truly heartfelt story. An excellent book! I highly recommend it!!
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-young-adult
Way to Go is the debut novel of Canadian writer Tom Ryan. It's a contemporary/coming-of-age YA novel that takes place in Nova Scotia in the 1990s. The narrator and protagonist of the story, Danny, is a teen who thinks he might be gay, but feels suffocated by his traditionally-minded father, his small community and is terrified about what might happen to him if he is outed. His two closest friends are always encouraging Danny to hook up with available girls and can't understand why he doesn't wan ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviews, not-for-me
This book is more about discovering you want to go to cooking school. The gay part felt like a side plot. Honestly, there where pages and pages and pages dedicated to cooking details: the contents of the cupboard, the chef's knives, what the boy cooked for his family, how he cooked it, when he cooked it, what the chef taught him, ect., and ad nauseam. There should have been a picture of pots and pans on the book cover.

The character was gay, but he didn't seem to be impacted by any gay feelings o
Feb 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
I don't think I can describe my hatred for this book; no matter how many words I am given.
I would never have read this book if it wasn't a White Pine book. I even pushed it off to the last one I read. Just like the description suggested, I would hate this book and I did. Seeing no other work from this author, and not paying much attention to the writing style, I don't feel confident enough to bump this up to two stars.
It was mostly the plot that bothered me. I could not care less if he ended u
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really liked this book, but it reminded me of Perks of Being a Wallflower in more ways than one. Obviously there were other characters, but there was a straight guy who tried picking up everyone, a straight guy who was winging life, a might-be-gay guy (the main character), and then two girls that have connections with the main character. There were also mix tapes and dancing, and even a fight about how the main character was trying to hide how he was (possibly) gay. Did I mention it takes plac ...more
Spencer Miller
I really enjoyed the setting of this novel. I enjoyed all the scenes in the restaurant.
Hot Stuff for Cool People
‘Way to Go,’ the first novel by author Tom Ryan, is a story that centers around the summer vacation of high school student Danny. At the beginning of the summer, Danny runs into a bit of trouble, which prompts his mother to demand he get a summer job, ruining the plans he had to spend the summer hanging out with his two best friends, Jay and Kierce. However, Danny soon finds that he enjoys his job, as well as his new friend Lisa, who works with him. Danny also hopes that Lisa may be the solution ...more
Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton--in Nova Scotia, maybe--who doesn't have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny's dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has to get a summer job. Worst of all, he's keeping a secret that could ruin everything.

Way to Go is a book filled with a mixture
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
Review originally posted at Doodle's Book Blog

I was intrigued after reading the summary, but it doesn't do the book justice. From page one I was swept into Danny's world. Tom Ryan wrote a book that I will read over and over again.

Danny has just finished his junior year of high school and he isn't sure who he really is or what he wants to do with his life. It takes getting busted by the cops and forced into a summer job he didn't really want to push him to figure it out. He ignores his two best f
Mrs. S
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clearly, I was into this book--if you check the dates on my reviews, you'll see that I finished a different book on the same date. I picked this one up on my way home, and three long subway rides later, I was done. It's a classic coming-of-age story set in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. During the summer after 11th grade, protagonist Danny gets a summer job, figures out who his true friends are, and starts to get comfortable with new ideas about who he really is. What made it stand out wer ...more
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I live on Cape Breton Island and I've had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful author, so I must admit I wanted to like this book, but I began with an open mind. When I chuckled before the end of the first page, however, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. By the end I was smitten with WAY TO GO.

The main character, Danny, is so easy to like and identify with as he figures his life out. A big part of his story is trying to accept that he's gay, but I think anyone, regardless of gender and sexual
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book inspired me to read because of what its about. A lot of my friends picked up this book and read the back and thought it was gross because it talked about sexual things. It didn't bother me because a lot of people go through this like gay marriages. The whole story basically circles around whether or not Danny is gay or not. He lives in a small town where no one is supposed to be gay, but slowly, he realizes what he wants to do with his life. The font is big, spaces between words bigger ...more
Christa Seeley
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A straightforward story of figuring out who you are, and the courage to accept that revelation.

This was a wonderful, simple novel. No bells and whistles, no gimicks. Just a solid story. I really enjoyed Dan's character. He seemed like someone I get to know, someone I would be friends with this and this immediately put me at ease. Tom Ryan does an excellent job at creating realistic characters, and everyone seemed to remind me of someone I knew growing up.

I also loved the small town Canadian sett
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it

Tom Ryan's Way to Go is a LBGTQ novel with an interesting twist - as the narrator's thirteen-year-old sister says, "...I didn't think gay people lived in places like Deep Cove." That's Deep Cove, Nova Scotia. And Way to Go's exploration of growing up gay in small-town Nova Scotia is part of the charm of this up-beat coming out teen novel. I was a little troubled - as I am by many gay teen reads that sexual attraction is a big no-no - Danny admits to lusting for Hollywood hunks but doesn't seem t
Melissa Kidd
This was an easy going book and intriguing enough that I finished it in a few hours. I was worried that it would be the classic teenage coming out story but wanted to give it try in case it wasn't. It isn't. The book is about more the process of understanding what matters in life. I kept expecting Danny to find a cute guy to hook up with but that never happened and after looking back on that, it was a little refreshing. It makes this book not about prejudices or love but about believing in yours ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-ya
Way To Go by Tom Ryan is a good look into the experience of a teen struggling with his sexuality in a small town with equally small-minded people. It delves into the psychology of someone who is questioning who he is and what he wants out of life on more than one level - not only is the possibility of being gay on Dan's mind, but also what he wants to do with his life and where he wants to, or maybe even feels like he needs to, live it.

While it takes place in 1994, Way to Go isn't a trip down me
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book on the surface because Danny is a teen around the same time that I was, and it's fun to remember a time when nobody had cell phones or internet and we shared music by making mixed tapes. Going deeper, though, the book rang true in the little moments that happened throughout the book. Moments between friends, potential love interests, family. It was totally authentic and I think this was accomplished by a great development of character. Loved Danny's little sister Alma ...more
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't know why Way To Go isn't extremely popular in the YA community yet. It was a fantastic book full of meaning, and also just an adorable story. The main character Danny, has some trouble coming to terms with being gay. He tries to hide it, and deny it. The story is basically him trying to come to terms with it. I thought that he was an incredible character. He was kind and sincere to others, and he wasn't a jerk like his friend Kierce. I wish this book was a little thicker, so that I could ...more
Lisa RC
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
White Pine Book #3
Actual rating: 3.5

The whole story basically circles around whether or not Danny is gay or not. He lives in a small town where no one is supposed to be gay, but slowly, he realises what he wants to do with his life. The font is big, spaces between words bigger, so I finished the book in half a day. It's a short, light read.

Most of the time, I wasn't completely sure what Denny wanted either. He talks about how he's into the new girl in town, Lisa, but at the same time, he physi
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was so engrossed with the novel, finished it within a few hours. It's just the perfect coming of age book. A teen struggling with his sexuality who has no idea what to do with his life after high school. The story takes place in 1994 but the only real evidence that shows that is the use of mixtapes.
All the characters are enjoyable, the character development was executed well and the pacing was good too. I suppose you will enjoy the book more if you can relate to the protagonist's problems lik
Nicole Gilbert
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
The writing style was underwhelming, and very basic, but I enjoyed the plot enough to keep reading. It's YA, so the characters were immature and some were even obnoxious, but the protagonist, Danny, is relatable enough for a blue stoning teenager. Most importantly, the novel deals with themes of homosexuality, LGBTQ acceptance, mental health, and the damaging effects of 'traditional' male roles. Maybe not engaging for an adult, but for ages 12-18, it might be suitable. Honestly though, the part ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Way to Go is the kind of YA novel that you can't stop reading. I read it in a night and have already passed it along to a friend. Don't get me wrong, it's not a big adventure. It's a gentle, thoughtful story. It asks some big questions and answers them with humour and insight. Thank you to this author for stepping into the Young Adult ring and giving us a story about a 17 year old male trying to find his way in the world. The protagonist is into cooking and he has a great circle of close friends ...more
This book takes place on Cape Breton Island, which is where my dad grew up. When I picked this book up at the library, I couldn't even remember having ever placed a hold on it, but I'm guessing that the reason I did is because it takes place in Cape Breton. There isn't a whole lot of Canadian YA fiction out there, so I read whatever I can get my hands on.

This book was a quick read, but I found it hard to put down. There's a lovely little story in its pages, and the characters seemed very real to
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I have about 50 pages to go and I am feeling like something significant needs to happen pretty soon. He's clearly struggling with who he feels he is, but it seems like he has to have some kind of major breakdown/breakthrough pretty soon or else this book is going to be a bit of a let down. I love the fact that it is set in the 90's during the same time frame that I was that age, so the cultural references really resonate with me, but the struggles of coming to terms with sexuality seem a bit too ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was short in length, but not in heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the realness of the characters. A young 11th grader is growing up in a small town in Canada and realizes he might be gay. He has two best friends, both who are trying to encourage him to go out with various girls but his heart isn't in it. The story, while being a typical coming out story, is full of heart and lots of real characters. I thought it was a good read for a young LGBT teen. ...more
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Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. His YA thriller KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF was the recipient of the 2020 ITW Thriller Award for best YA thriller and the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for best YA mystery. Three of Tom's novels have been chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, and he was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband, and their dog currently divide t ...more

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