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A Very, Very Bad Thing

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  86 reviews
From the author of Drag Teen, a startling novel about the complexities of identity -- and of truth.

Marley doesn't just want to be labeled The Gay Kid, but he doesn't have much else going on. He doesn't have any hobbies. Or interests. He's the only kid he knows without a passion . . . until Christopher comes to town. He's smart, cute, gay, and . . . the son of the
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Push
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  477 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
When I first read A Very, Very Bad Thing, I thought I should have enjoyed it. But the more I think about this book and all it entails, the more confident I become that this is something a little worse – it is one of those lgbtq books that is not written for queer teens, but for those looking for a little Suffer Porn.

[I’m tired.]

I’m going to try to explain this as best I can. When a book starts out as a somewhat-romcom with no substance [i mean...], it does not end in a tragic ending. Right?
a list of things that are NOT okay
- this book
- honestly don’t read it
- it made me way too sad
- please don’t read it
- is the book's title talking about itself

Reading this is like walking towards a nuclear bomb with people you love. It's kind of weird - the characters aren't extremely likable and the writing isn't great, but it felt real enough. I got so attached to the characters, and I sensed that feeling that this will all end badly (see: nuclear bomb) but I tried to pretend it wasn't going
Peter Monn
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Omg this book! So powerful, so profound and so important. I’ll be posting my full review on my booktube channel at
Jun 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book turned out to be a very bad thing. It started off sweet, but I ended up having more problems than benefits. Admittedly, a faster than real life developing romance is not unusual in YA literature; however, I think that 225 actual story pages in this case are not enough to develop round characters. Here lies also one of my main problems: the book seemed like something what a stereotypical Hollywood studio would produce. The parents of both Marley and Christopher fell flat and were ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Bury your gays trope.
Sylvia Flowers
Nov 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Disappointing. Flat characters, unimaginative dialogue, and a weak plot.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe this book could have been saved if it had had character development? As is, it's one of the most forgettable YA books I've read.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, ya, z-2018, reviewed, fiction
The non-spoiler part of the review:
-This was going to be three stars and a lot of side-eye, but then I got to the end, it's two stars and a lot of side-eye.

-It seems to be a thing in queer YA fiction for the pendulum of parental support to swing wildly between you're going to hell and yay! You're gay! Let's throw a party! (This book offers both versions.) I'm looking forward to the day that the pendulum spends more time around 'That's nice, dear. Now would you please take out the
ru ✧*:・.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
raise ur hand if ur SICK of very, very bad things happening to very, very good gay characters

ugh i'm just.... SO disappointed ))))))):

the worst thing was that i truly believed that the author would flip everything on its head, and that instead of the unhappy ending we were being lead to believe we were getting, we'd be surprised with a happy one. but that rarely happens, right? especially when it comes to gay characters. everyone just seems to have a shite time and me - a lil gay - is left
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, fiction, 2017
Listened to the audiobook, read by the author, Jeffery Self. Loved this story.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was sent this novel from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in any way.

CW: suicide, homophobia, death (graphic).

Heartbreaking, comical, and a real tear-jerker. This novel was so good and pulled at my heart in many ways. Marley and Christopher have a relationship that I became easily invested in (like Marley). Through flashbacks of two months and the present "now", we learn about Marley's very, very bad thing and his relationship with Christopher, a
I am not entirely sure what to say about this book. It was alright. The plot was interesting but it just kind of fell flat for me. The relationship was very speedy and not quite believable.
Jake Koerts
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The only reason I have this book 4 stars and not 5 is because I didn’t believe it was nuanced or detailed enough for the important issue it is trying to address. Other than that, this book has truly broken me. Acceptance is such an important issue in the LGBTQIA+ discourse, and as an 18 year old with accepting parents I have overindulged in ignorance towards this problem. Many kids are shut out due to religion, parents will put their beliefs before their kids not realising their wrongs until it ...more
JAN 10-JAN 11 2019
3 Stars
ARC Copy

I came into this book with little expectations, as I didn’t know much about it. Occasionally, in the case of this book for example, I have thrown books onto my shelf to read simply because they have LGBT themes.

I enjoyed the journey. It was a pretty quick read, It quite reminded me of when you watch a random indie film Youtube has thrown at you, and similarly the book actually has a sort of an indie film type feel.

‘“If you could come back as anything, what would
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, fiction, ya
Hmmm I meannn this was a fast-paced (maybe too fast? but it was a quick read), enjoyable-enough read. Jeffery Self definitely has jokes. The relationship plot develops so quickly--which definitely happens in other YA novels--but it just made everything else hard to buy into.

anyway it's a big concept that doesn't quite gel together. But it's a quick read and has some funny moments. I liked Jeffery Self's last YA book, Drag Teen, more--it wasn't stellar but it was funny and it wasn't aiming for
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
I had some issues with the character development. There was also some insta-love going on. Aside from that, this was a good book. Short, but good. I listened on audio; the author was the narrator and he did a really good job. I have listened to other books with the author as a narrator and I honestly think it is a bad idea sometimes, but thankfully that wasn't the case here.

Full review to come!
Sep 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
(view spoiler)

I'm with the people that felt like this book did not add depth to any discussion, but is talking about topical issues just to sensationalize them, and i'm not on board with it.

The story did start out super cute, but yeeeeeeah.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: I Must Have Missed It
Drinking Buddy: Non Alcoholic Beer
Testosterone Level: Could Be Better
Talky Talk: A Quick Bite
Bonus Factor: Moral Conundrum
Bromance Status: I Like You, But For the Wrong Reasons

Read the full book report here.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Milham
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I did yell at one of the characters for making a very stupid decision but that gets resolved very nicely so who cares!
Ali K
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as a giveaway. This was a book that hit all of the emotions.
Liyah Smith
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed taking the time to read this book. It was pretty amazing for me. I loved how it created the scene of teens, high school, etc. I was really engaged with the character, almost as if he were telling me his story. The way the author wrote and the mood that was set in this novel really created an image. I felt happy, sad, angry, shocked, etc. And some things I just knew they were coming. Marley was a seventeen year old high school kid who fell in love with Christopher. However, ...more
Caroline Fosse
A Very, Very Bad Thing follows Marley who doesn’t want to be labeled «the gay kid», but feels like he doesn’t really have much else going on, no hobbies and no interest. That is, until Christopher comes to town, the son of the country’s most famous television evangelist.

As Marley and Christopher quickly becomes inseparable, Christopher’s parents send their son away for a «Pray Away the Gay» program, and they plan his escape. But something goes wrong, and Marley is forced to deal with the
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-winner
I was less than impressed for a variety of reasons.

First, the only like two characters: Marley and Christopher. The secondary characters were so over the top in being stereotypical stand ins for quirky best friend, hippy parents, or ultra-conservative television pastor.

Secondly, aside from some minor twists, it is a pretty predictable story, that didn’t really evoke much feeling. I believe it is because you didn’t get to know very much or have time to feel close enough to one of the other major
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
There's an interesting book in here that, with a lot of editing and changes, could have been very cool. That's pretty frustrating, that this book could have been really a knockout had it only been edited differently. Alas.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential to be great but ended up a bit boring and to much at the same time. The storyline of the gay son of a pastor sounds like the beginning of a great story, with an interesting and important message. But it ended up not being about that at all. Instead we got a story of Marley, a boy with very little that makes you like him or even care about him. His one and only friend, feels like any other “best friend of a gay guy” girl and she is overall very annoying. The love ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm pretty sure this novel by Jeffery Self is me in book form: snarky, witty, pessimistic, deep, brooding, and gay.

I can't say it was as good as his first, but this book gave us something that we are all too familiar with: religion and their thinly veiled hatred of the LGBTQ+ community. I'm glad this book did not dive in and blame religion for everything, but it did show the harmful effects spewing your hatred on national television does to young minds.

3.5/5 stars!
Tiffany Robinson
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I did manage to read this whole books so there is that. I did not care for this book at all. I felt like the whole story was rushed and if it slowed down a little and maybe developed the characters a little more then it could have been a great book.
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Jeffery Self is a writer and performer based in Los Angeles. He recently co--wrote and starred in "You're Killing Me", a feature film distributed by Wolfe Releasing. He was the co-creator and star of "Jeffery and Cole Casserole" on Logo (with Cole Escola). He has appeared in various television shows such as 90210, Difficult People, Hot In Cleveland, Shameless, and 30 Rock. He has produced/written ...more
“But the only thing that we should really be worried about is making our lives into the lives we want them to be. Maybe things don't get better until we make them better.” 1 likes
“Yes. Of course I hate the crap he spews. And of course I want to shake them and make them understand But isn't that what they've done to me? How would me doing it to them be any better? Spew is spew, no matter who is saying it.” 0 likes
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