Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Love Means to You People” as Want to Read:
What Love Means to You People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Love Means to You People

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A powerful debut about a young man whose denial of his past nearly destroys the new life he seeks
Shaking off his hellish adolescence in a nowhere Nebraska town (and leaving a beloved younger sister to fend for herself in the same hostile environment), Seth McKenna escapes to make a new reality for himself as a struggling artist in Manhattan. When he falls hard for Jim Gla
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Love Means to You People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Love Means to You People

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of What Love Means to You People
Dora Santos Marques
A minha opinião em vídeo:

Que surpresa tão boa! Encontrei este desconhecido numa promoção a 3€.
Uma história de amor com muitas camadas e segredos escondidos do passado que levam dois homens a apaixonarem-se.
Mais uma leitura LGBT de que gostei imenso.
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wrote it.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: os-meus-livros
Comprei este livro por curiosidade, e esperando outro tipo de história.

Fui surpreendia quando, ao iniciar a sua leitura, me apercebi que é uma história de dois gays!

As personagens principais são o Seth e o Jim, mas destaco o Seth, pois a sua história de vida é toda analisada.

Neste livro temos não só uma bonita história de amor, mas muito, muito drama.

Começo por avisar que não é qualquer pessoa que consegue ler este livro. Para começar, tem que ter a homossexualidade bem aceite na sua mente, porq
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who isn't homophobic
There are many moments I remember fondly from this book - each of the characters have made mistakes in their lives, and it isn't too long before the secrets they've been hiding and the miscommunications that have been festering come to a head. They each have a deep flaw that they have to overcome - Jim must process, deal, and over come the repercussions of his last lover's death, Seth has his own scarring emotional trauma that he's only ever told one other person about (but that is revealed slow ...more
Blake Fraina
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this wholly adult love story about two very different, very damaged men set against the backdrop of contemporary New York City. Compared to so many modern love stories (gay or straight), this novel strikes me as very realistic and grown up. Too often writers become so enamoured of their characters that they tend to shy away from showing them as whole people with human imperfections and/or they seem to graft slapdash, quickie happy endings onto otherwise complicated, difficul ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
I truly wish the author had resisted the urge to insert violence and a 'realistic' ending to this otherwise charming and touching romance. Seth is a twenty-three year old Cooper Union fine arts graduate student hoping to refine his skill as a painter. Jim is a forty-two year old advertising executive cruising through life on empty after the unexpected death of his life partner, which also dashed his hopes of becoming a father. The two meet on a photo shoot and have an instantaneous spark. Compli ...more
Lichen Craig
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book has a good story, and some really beautiful passages in the writing. That is the good stuff.

On the other hand, it has many sentences that are so badly constructed that I found it a headache to read. I found one sentence with - count them - eight commas. It was also very often confusing to figure out who the speaker was in a dialog.

But the biggest frustration was with the lack of research into small town life and people, and the utter bias against small midwestern life. This author's a
Fábio Ventura
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Um livro que me surpreendeu a todos os níveis, especialmente por ser algo desconhecido. É uma história bastante dramática e emocionante com duas das personagens mais profundas que ja tive o prazer de conhecer. A autora tem uma linguagem fresca e directa que torna a leitura deste livro num vício. Recomendo a todos os amantes de romances não convencionais.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has everything you could want and Seth...just love Seth. He's brave and wounded and you cannot help but love him.
Daniela Rosas
Um bom livro mas não me prendeu muito.
Acho que estou a ficar cansada e não consigo concentrar-me em nenhuma leitura
Karl Marx S.T.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leaving his childhood town wasn’t that easy for Seth McKenna. For with this decision, he also had to leave his younger sister together with their fragile mother in the hands of his abusive and violent stepfather. Seth’s escapes to make a new life for himself manages to be fruitful and productive even just a struggling artist in Manhattan. Then a handsome older man, Jim Glaser, starts to come in Seth’s way and is greatly astonished to found in Seth the greatest love of his life. Surprised at the ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: gay men, readers of quality fiction
Recommended to Charles by: Mark Fontaine
Shelves: glbt
This is the great undiscovered gem of contemporary, quality gay fiction. In fact, it is one of the three best works of gay fiction, ever, along with "Call Me By Your Name" and "The Unreal Life of Sergei Nabokov." Published in 2006, and now out-of-print, it beautifully written and erotically charged. Stylistically, the novel calls to mind Michael Cunningham and Alan Hollinghurst; author NancyKay Shapir the same keen eye on the subtleties of contemporary urban life.

Someone, somewhere has to get th
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Beautifully written, engaging novel about love. The characters draw you in to their world seamlessly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and have gone back and re-read it a couple of times. Highly recommended
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I read the book in nearly one sitting - two long flights. It speaks to how fully I was sucked into the story, choosing it over sleeping. And I like the way the narrative flows when read all in one sitting.

Big picture:
What I appreciated about this novel was the way it explored the idea of identity. One may want to be someone other than who one is, to start fresh and put a difficult past behind, or to simply think there are parts of one's life that are inconsequential to who one is. It is rarely
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but there was so much melodrama that choked the life out of it. Shaprio could have written an interesting novel about a relationship between an older man and a younger one who come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences. Instead, she wrote a soap opera filled with unrealistic dialogue, crazy plot twists (including someone being shoved in front of a subway car), and ridiculous nicknames (Honeyboy and Skeezix? Really?). I also think so ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I started to read NancyKay Shapiro's debut novel a couple years ago, got about 40 pages in and put it aside. I'm not really sure why I stopped, I just wasn't groovin' to the story. And I desperately wanted to like it. See, NancyKay Shapiro was something of a Big Fandom Name back in my days in a certain fandom (which shall not be named so I don't out her). She wrote a different pairing than I did and I didn't always agree with her characterization, but there was no question that she could turn a ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexis Muirhead
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer-lit
Set in contemporary Manhattan, What Love Means to You People is certainly a page-turner: it's a melodrama in the finest sense, and reads exactly like a long, involved and very ambitious fanfic. (In fact, I suspect that it might have been a translation job - anyone know?)

Shapiro's narrative is crammed full of beloved cliches: a tortured romance, intrigue, mystery, sexual abuse, the death of a partner, a long-lost sister, gay parenthood and a surprisingly brave and honest ending. It's schlocky, c
Oct 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who like contemporary fiction & isn't homophobic -- or doesn't want to be
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gostei muito.
Assistimos neste livro a um amor pungente e verdadeiro entre dois homens, Seth muito jovem e sofrido e Jim um quarentão que viveu uma relação plena e rica com um amigo de infância que acabou de uma forma muito trágica.
May 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
B Really good at times, other times I got so fucking annoyed at the stupid sister and other things, it really detracted
Liz Logan
Unintentionally comical in its overwrought creepiness.
Katie M.
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, queer
Compelling and well-written story, with an ending that allows for complexities and grey areas. I approve.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
great beginning and middle parts but the last third was just way too grand guignol - and that's saying a lot, coming from me :D
Honey Tucci
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2019
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2010
Rita Domingos
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2017
rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Eleven Minutes
  • O Mundo Proibido de Daniel V.
  • Rush (Breathless, #1)
  • Let it Snow
  • Set This House in Order
  • Torment (Fallen, #2)
  • Fallen (Fallen, #1)
  • Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1)
  • The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World
  • Something Like Summer (Something Like, #1)
  • Getting It
  • Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous!
  • Rainbow Road (Rainbow Trilogy, #3)
  • I Am Not Myself These Days
  • Something Like Spring (Something Like, #4)
  • Dreamland
  • Something Like Autumn (Something Like, #2)
See similar books…

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
189 likes · 71 comments