Diane Ferbrache's Reviews > With or Without You

With or Without You by Brian Farrey
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: bullies, friendship, glbtq, high-school, washyarg, young-adult
Read in November, 2011

Evan and Davis just graduated from high school and are planning on leaving Madison to go to college in Chicago. They have been friends since they were 10, bound together through the constant bullying and beatings because they are gay. They are out to family and friends, best friends not lovers. Over the summer, though, everything changes. Evan’s relationship with Erik becomes more serious, and Davis becomes involved with the Chasers. As the summer proceeds events careen off into dangerous territory and Evan has to make some hard choices about his future.
Infused with art references that explain Evan’s paintings, this is a realistic, compelling story of friendship and secrets. Through Evan’s voice we learn his history and watch him recognize that he can’t control what others think and feel. This is an interesting and intriguing story that will likely appeal to most teens. Although it’s a book with a “gay theme”, and the boys’ sexual orientation is an important part of the story, this is just a story of friendship and poor choices. The story never drags, and it’s impossible to put it down in the last 100 pages. The ending is not tragic, not happy, but satisfying and realistic. Although there’s really little profanity and the sex is mostly off-screen, this is a gritty story that’s only appropriate for older teens and adults.

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