Madison Parker, April 2013. Lucas is seventeen and knows he’s gay, but isn’t really comfortable telling anyone about it. As he inches out of the closet, he starts making good friends for the first time: fun and supportive Trish; straight and sweet Alex, who gives Lucas his first kiss; and crazy, horny Donovan, who turns out to be a creepy jerk. But Lucas’s brother Mason is embarrassed by his brother’s gaiety, and his dad isn’t that comfortable with it either. But don’t worry – by the end, Lucas has a supportive boyfriend and his family’s really come around, including Mason, now his defender.
Yes, there are flaws in this book, but Madison Parker has done something I didn’t think was possible – she’s written a contemporary coming-out problem novel that doesn’t feel dated or melodramatic. Okay, the early scene with the prank date felt a little over-the-top. But overall, the fact that Lucas comes out in a world that already has gay kids, rather than into a totally hetero universe, makes this book much more realistic than the “me against the world” variety of coming-out story. Plus the sex is hot, and graphic, if that matters to you.
Better editing might have helped here. The book is told from Lucas’s point of view, but a few random passages are told from Donovan’s or Trish’s perspectives, which takes the reader out of the story. Some of the makeout scenes are cheesy, and some dialogue doesn’t sound true to the way teens today speak. Nevertheless, this is recommended as an entertaining, yet moving, novel about coming out in today’s real world.