“Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.” ― Bryce Courtenay
Chris is just days away from graduating high school, has recently come to the realization he’s gay, and has a great boyfriend Josh, whom he loves and who loves him back. Everything should be perfect right? But it’s not. His childhood friends corner him, beat him down and call him disgusting names. They even spit on him. Chris doesn’t understand whythis is happening; they’re supposed to be his friends.
I loved how realistic this story was. We’ve all read stories where everything is perfect and things just fall into place for convenience. That’s not reality. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people.
Because of his ex-friend’s reactions, Chris starts to believe that being gay means being hated. Instead of the happy-go-lucky kid he was just a few days prior, he turns in on himself and has a hard time reconciling his expectations with other people’s reactions. There are times within this section that he is so overwhelmed that some readers may find him whiny. For me though, I found his inner thoughts and feelings to be very age appropriate.
I enjoyed watching Chris grow into himself and slowly understand that not everyone will hate him because he’s gay. At times, it felt as though he would never get over the abuse from his friends and you really feel bad for him. I was always cheering him on when he was getting down on himself. I wanted him to be positive and believe everything was going to be okay. Chris is a character you just want to hug and protect from the world.
Josh is such an awesome character. He is so positive, loving and thoughtful throughout Chris’s doubts and fears. Josh was always right there for Chris, being supportive and understanding. Not willing to let him get away. Josh convinces Chris to participate at Pride which allows him to see that the world is much bigger than any of his small minded bullies. Chris’s first Pride parade is full of touching stories, acceptance and encouraging sights, to which he feels liberated.
I absolutely loved Chris’s family. His mom and dad and even his little sister were a big plus to this story. I loved their interactions with Josh. They really made him feel like part of the family. It was so nice to read a positive parent reaction to their son coming out.
I believe Allison Cassatta gave us a perfect balance of sweet romance, brutal honesty, and a dose of reality that we all need from time to time.
Reviewed by: Lynn