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With or Without You

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,078 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
Eighteen-year-old Evan and his best friend, Davis, get beaten up for being loners. For being gay. For just being themselves. But as rough as things often seem, at least Evan can take comfort in his sweet, sexy boyfriend Erik - whom he’s kept secret from everyone for almost a year.

Then Evan and Davis are recruited to join the Chasers, a fringe crowd that promises them prot
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Paperback, 349 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Simon Pulse
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Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Evan and Davis have been friends since childhood. Now on the cusp of graduation, they are planning to leave behind homophobic bullies and attend college in Chicago, but life has a way of changing well-intentioned plans. Evan is an artist who copies others’ work while he’s finding his own style. He meets a sweet guy who’s just perfect in every way, and while this annoys me, I figure he deserves something good out of life since his sister Shan is his parents’ favorite and
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Thomas
Evan and Davis have been best friends since the third grade. They share many things: their sexuality, beatings from bullies, and a desire to escape their lonely little town of Madison, Wisconsin. In fact, they both plan to attend the University of Chicago this upcoming fall. However, Evan has one thing Davis doesn't - a comforting and reliable boyfriend named Erik. Evan has successfully kept Erik a secret from his friends and his family for quite some time, but when Davis gets recruited to join ...more
Jackson
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
OK, I have to say that I wasn't sure about this book at first. When I was about 100 pages in I almost put it down, but I decided to keep going and I am glad that I did.

Not that the first 100 pages was bad or uninteresting, but because it was like a chick-lit book but with two boys. For anyone that knows me, I do not care for chick-lit books or at least most of them that I have read anyway.

The first 100 or so pages was all about relationships, love, etc. But then I peeked ahead and I seen that th
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Leslee
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
With or Without You is a very well-written book with a dramatic and intriguing plot. The story line probably isn't appropriate for anyone younger than middle school. Evan is a high school senior, along with his best friend Davis. Both of these boys are gay and are experiencing great struggle in fitting in. Evan also has a boyfriend, Eric that he keeps from his friends and family. The author does a wonderful job of describing the hardships Evan is going through when he has to make decisions on ho ...more
Brian
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even though it's technically for "young adults." The story was fast-paced and engaging, and the main character (Evan) was very well-developed. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was set in Madison, Wisconsin, one of my favorite places in the country and the city I called home for five years.

Two main things kept me from giving this book five stars. First, besides Evan (and to a lesser extent, his best friend, Davis), I didn't feel like I really got to know
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Rebecca McNutt
This book was creative and not afraid to speak out, which I admired, but as for the writing style, it was repetitive and quickly got boring.
Doug Beatty
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
I did enjoy this book. I will try to post the review with little spoilers because there are some major plot points that need to be kept hidden, so that they will surprise the reader when they get to them.

This is the story of Evan Weiss, who has an interesting "friendship" with a childhood boy named Davis. They go to high school together, are both gay, and have the unfortunate condition of getting beaten up by the local high school jocks. Evan's home life is interesting, he has a sister who is co
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Kelley
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I devoured the whole thing yesterday, staying up way too late even though the kids would have me up way too early. I just couldn’t stop reading.

Honestly, I’m not sure where to even start in this review. I think I’m still trying to process what I read, but I need to talk about it too. There was much more to this book than I realized going into it. Layers of plot that were all equally engaging. As I’ve said before there are two things that really get me when I’m reading. I’m an emotional reader. I
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Lauren
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: Lauren Reads YA

I discovered With or Without You through Melissa’s and Dylan’s YouTube videos, in which they constantly raved about this book. So it’s not surprising that I had very high expectations of it… I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, though. It was just a good read for me. Not spectacular or anything.

With or Without You is a thought-provoking, realistic novel about gay teenagers, fitting in, friendship, love, and everything in between. It is also abou
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Melanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Kennedy
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
(2.5 / 5)

This was an odd book to read, as it felt very disjointed. It often seemed like there were two very different stories battling against each other - one a sweet teen romance and the other a melodramatic ABC Family movie that delivered its message with a sledgehammer.

It could have gelled together more had the supporting characters been less one-note. They're either bad or good with very little grey areas. The narrator's boyfriend is too good, the new kid in town is too evil, the parents ar
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Betryal
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The story is detected as YA, but I don't beleive this one to be so since the boys involved have already turned 18 and are considered in my opinion adults.

The book is a powerful story that elaborates on HIV and the AIDS epidemic through the eyes of Evan and is written in first person. I found Evan confused and torn between where his priorities should lay and this alone gets him into sticky situations and messes that I'm surprised if he would even get out of them free and clear.

His friend Davis? I
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Cynthia (A Blog about Nothing)
There was a lot of stuff going on in With or Without you, it wasn’t just one simple plot with a perfect ending and that’s it, there were a few little layers of plots that were all connected to our main character Evan. Evan is torn between his best friend Davis who’s gotten into a group call the Chasers, a group that’s suppose to support and instilled pride in being gay but it's nothing but bad news and their main focus is to feel free and have sex with whoever they want. He also has his perfect ...more
Doret
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
18yr old Evan has just graduated high school. Everyone knows Evan is gay, but no one knows about his boyfriend. Not even Davis, his best friend. The two have been friends since the third grade and came out when they were thirteen. Evan and Davis have been bullied all throughout high school. They planned to move to Chicago for college but that was before Erik and the Chasers.

Evan has been dating Erik for a year. The two have a great relationship. Erik has welcomed Evan fully into his life. Evan f
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tarawrawr
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/?p=3147

With or Without You is an amazing, depressingly realistic portrayal of the misconceptions many people still hold regarding HIV and AIDS, even decades after it became a widely known issue. But apart from the big issue of With or Without You, it’s also the story of a high school senior trying to figure out who he is and how to make his own decisions.

There are a lot of books with gay protagonists where the focus is that he’s gay. But i
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Alexa
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: dnf
I am not one to leave a book unfinished but I just couldn't keep reading anymore. I made it to page 234 until I had it up to here of how the story was going in circles.

This story is about a gay boy named Evan and he doesn't know how to incorporate everyone in his life together. Evan gets a boyfriend but keeps him a secret and because of that it's starting to destroying his 1 year relationship with his boyfriend. His boyfriend Erik doesn't want to be a secret anymore but is letting himself be the
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Andres
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this book because of the "good read" trifecta: great writing, great characters, and interesting story. I tend to pass over a lot of the YA books that come across my desk at work because of the hokey plots or the uninspired writing (which only reflects on what gets delivered to me, not YA literature in general!). If the synopsis on the back doesn't sound like a hundred other similar stories, I at least give the book a try.

And this book is definitely worth a try. The characters he
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Antonia
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a really beautiful story on love, friendship, and everything that lies in the in-between.
I liked the plot, the depth of the characters, the sudden turns on the relationships between the characters and the ending.
I also enjoyed the fact that art was so deeply involved in the book. Quotes about art, description of colours and mixture of them, paintings, and painting techniques. All of them really intrigued me. Furthermore, I loved the characters of Evan and Erik. Evan was so confused, so
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Anyta Sunday
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5

This is a very well written book, great for a YA audience.

While the main characters are gay, this story deals more with issues of belonging, acceptance and trust. I wouldn't classify this as a romance, (i.e. Evan and Erik are already in a year long relationship when the story begins), but the story does look at the strains of keeping at a relationship (both romantic and friendship based). I loved the first real fight Evan and Eric had, it felt very real and I liked that this was shown and exp
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Anne
Nov 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Evan is gay. So is his best friend, Davis. They are not a couple, but the get beaten up and bullied mercilessly regardless of this fact. Davis hears about a group called The Chasers who meet at the Rainbow Youth Center. This group seems to offer hope for standing up to bullies, but it turns out that they have a much more sinister purpose. Meanwhile, Evan has a secret boyfriend, Erik. They have been together for a year, but Evan has told no one about him, including best friend Davis. Erik has bee ...more
Alisha Davey
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 307-books, dislikes
This book was interesting, to say the least. The plot of this story was unlike anything I had ever read before. I know that I would not use this book in a classroom because the language is quite derogatory. The book as a whole sort of bothered me. The plot surrounding Davis and the Chasers was the most disturbing part of the novel. I just did not understand why the plot had to include the males trying to catch HIV. This book did not meet my taste in general. I can see why this book won an award. ...more
Ellie Miki
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alice Ridge
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
This book was well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. There's something holding me back from giving it a 5 and I think that's only because I know I've read better books, however it's also a lot better than other books that I've rated 4 star. I find this whole rating thing really difficult.
Claire
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbtq, rev, ya
3.5 stars? This was really two novels, one of which grabbed my heart with its honesty and complexity and poignancy, the other of which was pure sensationalism. Still, worth reading for the first novel.
Mark
Probably more like 3.5 stars, for some big ol' holes in the plot; but, credit is deserved for tackling a subject I've never seen examined in YA before.
Jacob Lasher
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great story. Wow! I love books that make you think about what you would do if you were in that situation the characters are in.
David
So I think this is a book that people need to be exposed to. It's not a perfect book but I think it says more than other books I've forced people to read.
Bibek Thapa
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5

A good story about love, friendship, life and AIDS (even though the narrator irritated me most of the times).
Full review to come soon...
Jacoline Maes
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
De schrijfstijl

Direct merkte ik al dat ondanks dat Evan heel wat op zijn dak krijgt er toch ook humor in het boek zit. Ik zat af en toe te glimlachen en te gniffelen terwijl ik aan het lezen was. Ook vond ik de schrijfstijl heel prettig, het leest makkelijk en vlot. Bovendien vind ik bepaalde stukken heel mooi geschreven, beschrijvingen van dingen zijn af en toe heel poëtisch en daar houd ik wel van. Het deed me zelfs af en toe een beetje denken aan David Levithans schrijfstijl (en die vind ik p
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Brian Farrey is the author of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, a 2012 Stonewall Honor Book and winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for Young People's Literature and the VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES trilogy. His forthcoming middle grade fantasy, THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE, will be released in April 2016. He lives in St. Paul with his husband.

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