Category Archives: problem novel

Street Dreams

Tama Wise, March 2012. Tyson lives in downtown Auckland and dreams of being a graffiti artist, filling up notebooks with his hip-hop-influenced drawings. He spends his nights washing dishes to help his widowed mom pay the rent while evading the … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, bisexual, gay male, gay-bashing, polynesian, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, surprise queer character, Tama Wise | 1 Comment

Nightsiders

Sue Isle, March 2011. Every time I get sick of the indie presses — thinking they just don’t attract quality authors and then don’t have the editorial skill to turn around the mediocre manuscripts they do get — a book … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, australian, drag, dystopia, gaytopia, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, short stories, Sue Isle, trans | Leave a comment

Who I Am

M.L. Rice, April 2011. I should have known from that dead cat…but I didn’t. I really thought I was going to enjoy this realistic novel that, like K.E. Payne’s 365 Days, told a funny and sweet story about crushing on … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, college, gay male, gay-bashing, high school, lesbian, M.L. Rice, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, worst ever! | 4 Comments

Brooklyn, Burning

Steve Brezenoff, September 2011. This book has gotten a lot of press for its main gimmick: the protagonist and her/his lover are not identified by gender. It’s intriguing that the book is written that way without being grammatically clumsy; this … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, bisexual, genderqueer, problem novel, prostitution, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Steve Brezenoff | Leave a comment

Cursebusters!

Julie Smith, 2011.  I love a good boarding-school story, so I was all set to enjoy this one, set in Santa Barbara and Ojai and featuring a demon masquerading as a cat, a family curse, and time travel to ancient … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, black, fantasy, fat, gay male, gaytopia, historical, Julie Smith, latina/o, problem novel, realistic, romance, secondary queer character | Leave a comment

Clean

Amy Reed, 2011. I’m a sucker for a good teen rehab book (see also Last Night I Sang to the Monster), and this one delivers. It’s narrated by five addicts in alternating sections, and each teen’s first few lines say … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, Amy Reed, fat, gay male, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, sexual violence | 1 Comment

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Benjamin Alire Saenz, 2012. Saenz’s Last Night I Sang to the Monster was the best YA novel I’ve read in a long, long time, so I had perhaps unrealistically high hopes for his latest.  The verdict? It’s no Monster, but … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, Benjamin Alire Saenz, biracial, bisexual, gay male, latina/o, lesbian, passing mentions, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Pearl

Jo Knowles, July 2011. Henry and Bean are BFFs partly because they both have strange family lives.  Henry lives with his mom, who never leaves the house and spends her days eating Doritos and watching soaps. Bean lives with her … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, Jo Knowles, lesbian, problem novel, queer adult, realistic, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | 2 Comments

Speaking Out: Stories of Overcoming Adversity and Experiencing Life After ‘Coming Out’

Steve Berman, ed., September 2011. This volume of short stories (by multiple authors) includes both typical problem-novel-type coming-out stories and also empowerment stories.  It’s a mixed bag in that sense, and in terms of quality too, which you’d expect when … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, Alex Jeffers, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, asian american, bisexual, Charles Jensen, Danielle Pignataro, Dia Pannes, fantasy, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, high school, Jeffrey Ricker, L.A. Fields, lesbian, Lucas J.W. Johnson, middle eastern, problem novel, prom, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, religion, Rigoberto Gonzalez, romance, Sam Cameron, Sandra McDonald, secondary queer character, short stories, sports, Steve Berman, trans, Will Ludwigsen | Leave a comment

Shadow Walkers

Brent Hartinger, 2011.  Zach might be gay – he thinks he probably is – but right now he has something more important on his mind.  His little brother is missing, and Zach’s the only one who can find him, with … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, Brent Hartinger, fantasy, gay male, problem novel, queer protagonist, secondary queer character | Leave a comment