Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Perfect Family” as Want to Read:
The Perfect Family
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Perfect Family

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  581 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
What happens to the "perfect family" when the future suddenly changes in the most unexpected way?

Seventeen-year old Jamie Davidson doesn't think being gay should be such a big deal...until he comes out to his parents and friends. Even as Jamie celebrates no longer needing to hide his true self and looks forward to the excitement of openly dating another boy, the entire Dav
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Bold Strokes Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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 The Perfect Family, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Perfect Family

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mainstream, 2018
Mike and Maggie Davidson have been married for twenty years. They have two sons; eighteen-year-old Brian and seventeen-year-old Jamie. Their lives are going smoothly. They are considered the perfect family...until Jamie reveals to his family that he is gay. Maggie talks to Jamie and tells him that she supports him. Mike is having a hard time balancing his love for his son with his religion. Brian is hurt that his brother never told him his secret. Everyone has to reconcile their feelings and wor ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, ebook
Couldn't decide whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars, in the end decided upon three for a number of reasons:

1) A bit too much religion in it for my liking
2) Twists in the story were flagged well in advance
3) Not all of the main characters were well rounded

Having said this though it was a heart felt story, about a teenage boy coming out to his family and the impact this had on all his family and friends.

The ending was a bit too syrupy for my liking, but it was an easy read, and gave you food fo
Elisa Rolle
I remember Kathryn Shay from the time I was reading het romances, I think I probably read one or two too, so when I saw this novel by her, it picked my interest. I was curious to see how someone who is used to write straight relationship would face the task to move to gay relationship. In a way she didn’t, The Perfect Family, as the same title suggests, is a family story more than a love story, and if we want to search for a romance, the one who is fully developed is that between Maggie, the mot ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
The Perfect Family is a book that is hard for me to review. The author goes to great lengths to point out that it isn’t biographical. As a mother that has no issues with her children’s homosexuality and no religious indoctrination to overcome, I could not relate to any of the issues that seemed to stand so solidly in the way of loving their children ~ no matter what. I suspect that I may be in the minority with this view, which means the book may be a lot more meaningful to other readers, but fo ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hilcia by: Lori
he Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay is a contemporary family story about the struggle a family goes through while coming to terms with their seventeen year-old son Jamie's sexuality after he discloses that he is gay.

Mike and Maggie Davidson have, what many would consider, the "perfect family." They love each other and their sons, athletic eighteen year-old Brian and artistic seventeen year-old Jamie. Both are excellent young men, well-liked, doing well in school, and getting ready for college. As
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Why I read this book: I love participating in Pump Up Your Books book tours and when I saw Kathryn Shay's name as one of the authors I really wanted to be a part. I've read at least 3 of her books and enjoyed all of them and thought this book sounded interesting.

How is this book driven: Character all the way - the events are important, but what the characters do and go through is pivotal to the book.

My Thoughts: The Perfect Family is a very impressive endeavor on Ms. Shay's part. She has taken a
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you want to cry? Have your heart squeezed tight? Well, this is the book for you! There is no way you can read this book without crying, absolutely no way... at least for me. I started reading this book this morning and could not put it down. I cried on the train, I cried on my conference call (was totally not paying attention), I cried during lunch, I cried on the way home... I have the biggest headache right now O_o

This is the story of a family that had their foundation rocked when the young
Dixie LoCicero
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a true story about a family (Mom, Dad, sons Brian & Jamie) in a relatively conservative smaller town. Brian is a baseball star, Jamie is in to acting in plays. Dad is a staunch Catholic, following the tenets of his faith strictly. Mom comes from a family where the mother kicked out her sister for dating a married man & later marrying him. She hasn't seen her older sister in many years, has no idea where she lives. This has caused her to question Catholicism as the priest encourag ...more
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
From My Blog...[return][return]The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay is a novel based on the Davidson family and what happens within the family when they learn their son is gay. Jamie is 17 years old and believes it is time to inform his family and friends that he is gay. Jamie is looking forward to being able to be himself around those he cares about, yet unprepared for the intense and diverse reactions to his announcement from family and friends alike. The Perfect Family takes a look at how one a ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, the challenges that religion and religious beliefs versus what is happening in your family throws up. How different male and females react to news that their son is gay. How friends and family struggle to come to terms with how others react towards them.
Great read
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book feels a bit rough around the edges, especially when it tells instead of shows. On the other hand, it's a fascinating read, about a Catholic family's reaction when their son comes out of the closet.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Perfect. Utterly perfect. I don't think I've ever read a book that's portrayed the process of a teenage boy coming out to his friends and family that is as real, true and heartfelt as The Prefect Family. There was always something that was just not right with other books. Family accepting things too easily, or not at all. Friends as well. Or the gay teen being too hard on himself, wanting to change. Not so in this one.

Jamie is sixteen years old and has figured things out - he's gay, and he's don
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading MM romance for months now, this was a really interesting detour! I really enjoy reading about the coming out experience for men, but this was the first book I've read that tells about that experience from the rest of the boy's family's point of view.

Maggie and Mike are middle class, church-going, suburban parents with good jobs and settled lives. Their two high school sons, Brian and Jamie, are good students, popular, well-adjusted, and never get into trouble. It is "the perfect f
Book Binge
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
This is the coming out story of a teen who lives in what appears to be the perfect family but the coming out throws the family into turmoil and at times it feels like it will never get any better.

Jamie decides that it’s time to tell his parents that he’s gay. He’s known about his sexual orientation for a while but since he never met anyone he wanted to date he kept the information to himself. When he does finally meet someone that he falls for he knows it’s time. But the coming out isn’t anythin
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that grows on you as you get further into the story and stays with you after the end for a while - hence the 4* rating. It is fiction but fueled by events in the authors life.
I found it both simple and complex in terms of the feelings it engendered in me, especially with the institutional indoctrination portrayed by the church - a big red flag for me.
The writing style was clean and the book flowed along at a quick pace. It was more Maggie's tale than either Jamie or Luke's and certainly t
Garth Mailman
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The issue of the recognition of gay rights and marriage has caused deep division within church groups and many to question church dogma. The Old Testament rates the “sin” of homosexuality as deserving of punishment by stoning. Only in the last year the province of Alberta removed homosexuality from the list of psychological disorders and Ontario outlawed the practice of conversion therapy. The Law of the land and public opinion are often out of sinc making the act of “coming out” as gay an issue ...more
Rick Taubold
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I can't fault it for any reason. Kathryn Shay has taken a personal experience in her own family and produced a superb emotional rollercoaster of a novel. More novels should be written this well. The characters, the writing, and the storyline are superb. By way of reader enticement, I'll simply quote ffrom the cover blurb: "Seventeen-year-old Jamie Davidson doesn't think being gay should be such a big deal...until he comes out to this parents and ...more
Lynda Kelly
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this and the subject matter was close to home, too, as my brother was gay. I saw a lot of complaints about the religion in it but it was quite a big feature of this family's upbringing and way of life so there was no way it could have been left out. I'm the least religious person you're ever likely to meet and I managed to cope with it !
It was interesting how they coped with Jamie's announcement each in their own separate ways. I empathised with Brian because I was quite put out when m
Debbie Oxier
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
When seventeen-year-old Jamie decides to tell his family he is gay, he isn't prepared for what follows. Ridicule from his classmates, his own father's attempt to fix him, his brother's anger. All of a sudden his perfect world isn't so perfect any more. The book was mainly about one family's ability or inability to accept a close member's lifestyle. As the story unfolds we not only get a glimpse of Jamie's point of view, but we see his family struggle as well. His mother is the most accepting, on ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
I made it to page 25 and that was a struggle.i already know that the plot is about a gay teen who comes out to his family.
The dialogue is ridiculous, the glowing physical descriptions of the characters is nauseating, and the characters are completely unrelatable.

Let's talk about the laughable stereotypes for a moment. Gay teen is into theatre, cares about the environment and is, of course, a Mama's boy while the straight teen is a horny, hard partying jock who has all the sensitivity of a rock
Tara Holman
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: home-library
I probably would have given this book a 3.5 stars if it was possible to do on Goodreads. Unfortunately it did not merit a 4. This book is not autobiographical, yet I have read that the author did base it on some personal experiences. It centers on a very religious family of Father, Mother and 2 teenage sons. When one of the sons comes out to his family that he is gay (very early on and not very subtly) this "perfect family" must learn to adjust to his new life of being out and cope with how this ...more
Aunty Janet
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
''What happens to the perfect family when a teenage boy comes out? That’s the question the Davidson family must deal with. Jamie, the gay son, just wants to live his life out of the shadows. Maggie, mother, teacher and psychologist, will do anything to protect her child, even side with him against her husband. Mike, a loving, giving father, can't reconcile his beloved Catholic Church’s indictment of homosexuality with his deep unconditional love of his boy. And Brian longs for things to go back ...more
Amy's Book Reviews
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
The Davidsons have a perfect family, until high school junior Jamie announces that he's gay. His mother Maggie is supportive, yet troubled by her devout husband and older son's reactions. Dysfunction reigns supreme in their extended family as everyone comes to terms with Jamie's sexual orientation.
THE PERFECT FAMILY is a heartwarming, albeit completely predictable tale of a family in crisis. Kathryn Shay appeared to try to write a novel to encompass every stereotype and prejudice, and in doing s
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I had a hard time deciding between 2 & 3 stars for this book. I would give it 2.5 stars if goodreads would let me! I appreciate what Shay is trying to do, but it seems too contrived. Her characters are stereotypical & just like every other homophobic bully, confused/angry parent, judgmental Christian, supportive parent, progressive Christian, confused friend, etc. - they are either too nice, too harsh, too perfect, too ignorant, etc. I'm glad that it is an accurate portrayal of what coul ...more
Julie Barrett
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay
When her senior year son comes out she is there to support him and others are also but it has
caused such a drastic change in his other relationships with others in town and his immediate friends.
Jamie has made a pact with his friend that they would both tell their mothers today. Luke didn't and
told Jamie this. Jamie writes a journal to get his thoughts down on paper.
His mother, Maggie feels a lot of things, she's happy if Jamie is happy. Maggie would tell her hu
Jane Harper
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is a novel about a marriage and a family going through a lot of difficult circumstances, including the revelation that one of their high-school-aged sons is gay. They wrestle with their Catholic faith as well as their feelings - in fact, it seems as if one theme of the story was psychology vs. belief.

Although I'm not Catholic, I identified with the family and their struggles, and the book gave me a lot to think about. Unfortunately, in many instances the characters misstate the position of
Stephen Singletary
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are many things that one might point out about the book. All the negative comments,I'll leave for the people that cannot see that this book is a really good read. Ms. Shay does an extraordinary job showing all the points of view of each character. Shay did a superb job on foreshadowing, expressing emotion, and so much more. There are few books that show the unconditional love of a mother, father, and brother. This book made me laugh, think, cry, feel angry and most of all have hope. So, if ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'll have to come up with something better later, but suffice to say this was excellent. It looks at every aspect of a teenager's coming out from the perspective of how it affects each family member individually and in their relationship with the teen, to religion and its place in the family and gay teen's life, and so many other things I can't even begin to go there without sitting for a few hours. Will come back to this for sure to update.

Shay has never shied away from hard subjects, and this
Joan Woods
Not a very well-written book. Characters were not well-developed, but the author always described what they were wearing. Too much religious discussion for me. I understand that the father's Catholic faith is going to make it difficult for him to be accepting of his son's homosexuality; I don't need multiple, redundant conversations about it. The parents' relationship was ridiculous. They were continually upset with each other, never really dealt with it, and would purposefully spend time togeth ...more
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A perfect book! It makes you smile, cry but most of all it makes you think. I don't have a gay child but have often thought that if I did, I would be loving and accepting and that would be all that was needed. This book made me realize that acceptance goes way beyond one or both parents.

There is a lot about religion, both accepting and not, but it isn't delivered in a preachy way, just realistically. The writing is beautiful and the story even more so. I didn't put my kindle down once I started
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Look Away Silence
  • Braden's Story
  • Where I Am Now
  • Unexpected Family
  • Caged in Myth (Bayou Zoo, #1)
  • Hanging Loose
  • Measure of Devotion (Measure of Devotion, #1)
  • It's All Relative (It's All Relative #1)
  • Pray The Gay Away (A Southern Thing, #1)
  • Love is...
  • The Diary of Dakota Hammell
  • End of the Innocence (Tales from Foster High, #4)
  • You're Always in the Last Place You Look
  • Secrets & Truths
  • In His Sights (Don't Tell, #4)
  • Chulito
  • Violence Begets...
  • Hidden Love (The Hidden Series, #4)
Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned her first 'romance,' a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make a name for herself in a world of male journalists - and with one hardheaded editor in particular. Looking back, Kathryn says she should have known then that writing was in her future. But as so often happens, fate sent her detouring d ...more
More about Kathryn Shay...

Fiction Deals

  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Chasing the Sun
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Hidden
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Jubilee
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Where We Fall
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Over the Plain Houses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mustard Seed
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Count Belisarius
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Memory of Things
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.24 $1.99
  • To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Tudor Saga, #1)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A House for Happy Mothers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lace Makers of Glenmara
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • On Turpentine Lane
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Whiskey Rebels
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Honest Spy
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • We Are All Made of Stars
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mercer Girls
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (The Adrian Mole Series)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Tulip Fever
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • 600 Hours of Edward
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Daughters of Palatine Hill
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Cellar
    $3.99 $0.99
“went to the college to speak with your wife…she’s in dangerous water, Mike. We have to help her. Is it more than Jamie’s situation? Caroline’s?” 0 likes
“pasted on a grin. “¿Usted desea bailar?” she asked. He didn’t need Amber—who was majoring in Spanish—to translate for him. “Sí, señorita.” 0 likes
More quotes…