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The Boy Who Couldn't Fly Straight

(The Broom Closet Stories #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Will Grace and her evil coven continue kidnapping teenagers in the greater Seattle area, or will the local witches, determined to live in peace and secrecy, be able to stop them?

Closeted high school sophomore Charlie Creevey and his mother Elizabeth live in the shadows of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, where they tend to their fruit orchards and vegetable gardens, generally
Kindle Edition, 459 pages
Published September 15th 2013 by Jeff Jacobson
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  359 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Ulysses Dietz
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight

By Jeff Jacobson

Four stars

Except for the fact that I really hated the cliff-hanger ending, this was a brilliant book.

Five stars except for the very last paragraph.

This is the Harry Potter book that every gay teenager wished J.K. Rowling had written. It’s sure the book I wish she had written (and I wish I’d been a teenager instead of middle-aged when I read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).

It is edgier, faster, less whimsical, and very much an American st
S.A. Collins
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
While I'll hesitate to say it is a 'gay' Harry Potter type book, it sort of is. A bit edgier and a little more realistic in that the separation between the mundane and the witching world is intertwined rather than the strong division that was prevalent in Rowling's books.

Jacobson keeps it crisp and moving along. He doesn't dawdle on elements too much - at times this proved to be a bit frustrating. Also the fact that Charlie seemed to have very antiquated ideas of what a gay person would be like
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I know I haven't posted in a while, after the last series I read I definitely was drained and needed a breather. Ijust finished a book and I wanted to post a review for it while it's fresh. This book was an excellent read. Well worth the money. The main character felt very real to me and his sexual orientation really and honestly took a backseat to the story. It was there and he was dealing with it in a very realistic way but that wasn't the only thin going on in his busy life. It makes me feel ...more
This book I thought it was really great storytelling he got a good sense of who the characters were and what they wanted he also got to see magic presented a new interesting style. I like that the main character slowly came into his understanding of himself and that it wasn't like a romance everything just rushes to quickly. This book would definitely be recommend it to anyone who likes Harry Potter or Unnatural or any other supernatural/ magic /fantasy novels. ...more
Christian Frank
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait for the second book in the series! ...more
Aaron Barnes
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This was perfect. I'm still at a loss of words for the ending. I hope to read more from this author. Truly a brilliant piece of literature.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written story with highly visual dialog and narrative. Also a disappointing ending. This book screams for a sequel though there was no mention at the end of the book of one coming.

(Update: ok, there apparently IS a sequel)

What’s unique about this story is the angst the MC goes through learning of his legacy and his decision to follow a magical path. Vampire stories, werewolf stories and superhero stories don’t do that. The MC in those stories have their alternate lives thrus
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
(FROM MY BLOG) Charlie is 15 years old.  He lives a quiet, almost reclusive life just outside a small town in the California Sierra foothills.  He goes to school, he does his homework, he works hard helping Elizabeth, his young single mother, raise and harvest the vegetables that end up on their dinner table.  His family is poor and his social life is limited, but he feels reasonably happy and content.

Then one day, a large dog appears at the door and demands, in good English, "Give me the boy, E
Cute, well-meaning, full of heart, with a sweet, soft-boy protagonist whom I really liked... but ultimately not a very well written or plotted or crafted book. I very very very much wanted to like it! But the weird dissonance in tone, the shoddy character voices, the confusing and regrettably bad world-building... they all left me cold.

I will probably read the second book in the series, since this one ended so abruptly, and I feel like I want to give this a second chance. But my hopes aren't ver
Warren Silver
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Good book. Only negative is that it just ends. Need to continue o. To sequel to finish the story. I would have enjoyed it better if this story had finished and the sequel was an entirely separate adventure.
The Boy Who Couldn't Fly Straight has been sitting on my Kindle for almost 6 months. I just never really felt like diving into it. But lately, every time I go to borrow a new Kindle Unlimited title Amazon will sort of subtly say "Why don't you just return this one? You'll never read it. Let it go!" and over the weekend the guilt got to be too much.

So, I finally read this book. And I loved it.

I loved the characters, I enjoyed the author’s writing and the story, and I really hope this series isn’t
Listened as audiobook.

I had higher hopes for this, but sadly was disappointed.

The story center around a 16 year old boy, Charlie, who grows up on farm with his single mother, somewhat isolated from the world and peacefully unaware of the fact that's he's gay and the fact that he comes from a line of witches. It's supposed to be a coming of age, figuring out his sexuality, figuring out his place in the world type tale. On top of that, you throw in the Harry Potter-esque theme of "You're a witch,
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
If one takes into account that this is a debut novel from and indie author, any criticism has to be toned down as this fairly long M/M fantasy novel, the first in a series, has really much to recommend itself.

While Rowling's "Potter" series is a clear influence, Mr Jacobson manages to deliver an original, interesting plot with a rich cast of main characters.
Side characters, which are many and relevant for the story, are not as well outlined and that betrays the author's lack of experience: if on
John Sontag
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great take on a much used story. The main character, Charlie, is more than fully developed. He becomes a friend of the reader. And you are taken for one wild ride. The story never drags, never loses direction and always remains exciting and entertaining. I'm sorry that the entire novel couldn't be contained in one book, since now I must wait for books two and three. I'm an impatient person, and now I'm sorry I read book one. I should have waited for the full trilogy. Another thing, the ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I find it hard to believe that this is a debut novel! It's absolutely amazing and I found myself glued to the story. It's long, but it never felt like it dragged and every bit seemed necessary.
Though I found it being promoted in a facebook MM romance group, there really isn't a huge amount of romance in this first book of what I found out will be a trilogy. The fact that Charlie comes out as gay is a big part of the storyline, but the actual romance isn't. I have a feeling that will be more impo
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had I high hopes for this book and it was doing well for a bit tho it was a slow burn. The magic system needs work seems to lack a solid foundation so when characters talked about it they where unnecessarily vague to the point of being annoying.

The plot line was building slowly but surely though it lacked action the character development was good and I felt it was heading in a good direction taking its time to find itself and then it just ended... it ends so abruptly I thought part of the aud
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up. Thank you to Ulysses Dietz for recommending this novel, his review says everything I would wish to say in my review, so why plagiarise.
The cliff hanger ending didn't offend me so much, I am looking forward to the next instalment.
My only niggle, and this is a slight niggle, parts could have been edited down more. The WIT (Witches In Training) camp dragged on a little too long for me, and the gay teenager angst, the kissing and fumbling around, whilst sweet, again could have
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I love paranormal fiction and consider myself well read in that genre. Jeff Jacobson has written a brilliant story that competes with the best in the biz!

The story is full of vivid characters and exciting plots; filled with humor, suspense and real life situations of love, sexuality and WITCHES!

I fell in love with the characters and couldn't put the book down! I was actually crying at one point while reading in a busy Starbucks. That's how deeply I was moved by the story.

Excellent job Jeff Jacob
Peter Murphy
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great read.

A great idea. I liked this with world. Dialogue is well done but I felt like I always wanted more. Story was well placed and the ending is appropriately ambiguous. Looking forward to what Charlie does next. The only negative is that the book feels over edited.
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting fantasy/coming out story.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

The boy who couldn't fly straight is a paranormal adventure novel, written by Jeff Jacobsen. We follow Charlie Creevey on his journey as he discovers that he comes from a family of witches. Both Charlie and his mother are attacked one day, leaving them no other option than to move to Seattle so that Charlie can stay with his aunt and uncle. There, he finds out that an evil coven of witches who are known for killing teens are attempting to kidnap him. Charlie has to train in order to p
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-fantasy
I couldn’t put this book down.

The author has a great style of writing and describing the characters and the world.

The main character is an insecure 15 year old boy who has to deal with a lot of unexpected changes in his life. He is very likable and appears to be honest in all his flaws and weaknesses.

The story plays in present day America and involves witchcraft. As it is a coming of age story there are a lot of questions of school, fitting in and finding yourself. But even if “comig of age” c
Jul 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A Double Coming Out

Charlie grew up shy and isolated. When his mother takes him to live with his aunt and uncle in , he starts his journey of coming of age, as well as coming out as being both gay and a witch. The author takes us through Charlie's inner battles and teen angst, as he struggles to discover who he is. There is a lot of drama, both physical and psychological. Although there is no actual sex, this book may be too much for younger teens, due to the violence and death in the final chapt
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written and entertaining story with an endearing main character. I really liked Charlie. For most of the book he was confused and anxious, but he was very resilient about all the new and scary things in his life and I wanted more of him learning how to control his new powers.
But, just when Charlie finally gets “popped” and begins to do cool things, the books ends with a cliffhanger... sigh.
Mere Rain
This was a solid beginning to a younger (I believe the MC is 14 or 15? and seems pretty innocent) YA series. It is definitely a "book 1" and does not stand on its own -- all beginning and set-up, no resolution and even most of what's going on with the bad guys hasn't been explained yet.

The start was a little slow but I liked the protagonist, and it got a lot more interesting once he started at his new school and more characters came into play.
Peter Archie Guthrie
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good for LGBTQ teens.

As a gay man and liver of all things magical this book ticks a lot of boxes for me. Great characters who felt very believable. I did feel the ending was a little but anti climatic. As an adult I really enjoyed it and it's nice to see a novel about a gay teenager coming to terms with his sexuality. I think this book would help a lot of teenagers who identify as LGBTQ come out the closet.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Huge potential but needed editing! I enjoyed the concept and general narrative but by page 5 the "He's Gay" of it all because really boring. Many hanging questions and unanswered storylines, several plot points were just too convenient and it lacked the gravitas of Deborah Harkness or Jim Butcher. That said, had it been finessed I think the creation could have become that level ...more
Spyros T
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I would give 4 stars, but this is half a book. It is disconcerting how and why the author decided to abruptly end the book in the middle of everything.

If it was a free online story, I guess it would be okay. You would just start the next chapter, no harm done. But I payed for this, so it is quite upsetting.
David Andrews
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A grabber! Great use of language and terrific character development backdrop a terrifically-told story and a very true-to-life tale of coming out. Looking forward to getting into The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Home.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book could have been real rather good - sadly there is a need for a good editor to cut down on a lot of the story that feels bloated. The dialogue is also, poor and stilted which is a massive downside.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Jeff Jacobson (born 1968) took Asian Studies classes in college and learned Mandarin Chinese. During his senior year he studied in 10 different Asian countries, and after his graduation he went on to live in Taiwan for two years, broadening his knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.

From his website:
In 1994, Jeff moved t

Other books in the series

The Broom Closet Stories (4 books)
  • The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Home (The Broom Closet Stories #2)
  • The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow (The Broom Closet Stories #3)
  • The Broom Closet Stories: Boxed Set, Books 1-3

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