Wednesday, August 12, 2009

David Inside Out (MG, YA)

Bantle, Lee. David Inside Out. Henry Holt. 184 pages.

Driving along Minnehaha Parkway on my way to see Kick, I felt like Archie going over to Veronica's. Not because she lived in a massive stone house and I mowed lawns for cash. Or because I was prone to Archie-type screwups. I felt that way because our relationship was two-dimensional. And that was the test. Could I make it to the third dimension with her?

Will he or won't he? That's the big question. Will David admit to himself, to his family, to his friends, to the world that he is gay. When the novel opens, David is trying his best to deny his homosexuality. He's trying his best to "make it to the third dimension" with a girl. The girl, in this case, is nicknamed Kick. And she's a good friend to both David and Eddie. Who's Eddie? Well, he's the newly-out-of-the-closet best friend of David. His friend's coming out is making David uncomfortable. Perhaps because his own thoughts, his own desires make him uncomfortable. David tries to be straight--tries not to notice guys in the locker room and the showers; he tries not to fantasize about guys at all. But he's forcing it. And it's just not working. No matter how many times he tells himself no...he can't stop the feelings, the desires, the thoughts.

David's not the only one questioning his sexuality. One day in class, he receives an anonymous note:

Want to get it on with a guy?
Wear your red jersey on Friday.
Wait on the steps outside after school.
I'll meet you.
Don't tell anyone!!!
Don't show this note to anyone!!!
I am not messing with you. (54)

Could this mystery-note be from Sean, one of his teammates? He hopes it is. But will he have the courage to even show up? What if it's a joke, a prank?

This is a coming-of-age novel about coming to terms with who you are and what you want.

Other reviews: Shooting Stars Mag, Reviewabook123, Guys Lit Wire,

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Debi 9:28 AM  

This sounds like it has the potential to be really good, but I couldn't quite get a feel from your review if you liked it or not. Was it well done? Definitely will be keeping my eye out for it.

Becky 10:35 AM  

Debi, I liked it but didn't love it. I thought the coming-of-age/coming-out story was well done. But I didn't like the sports-element of the story. Which is all-me, by the way, I just don't "like" sports books.

Shooting Stars Mag 11:23 AM  

Thanks for linking to my review. I really did love this one. I think it was well-done and the sports part isn't too big of the story...unless you really dislike sports books, which in that case, hopefully you enjoy the rest of the story. :)

Thanks for the review!

Zibilee 9:45 AM  

Great review! I think this book sounds really interesting and it looks like something both my daughter and I would enjoy. Thanks!

Jules 12:17 PM  

I've seen this reviewed a lot, and I think the premise of the story will be able to reach a lot of youth going through something similar. Good review. Also came by to let you know I have an award waiting for you at my blog, for your hard work. Heres the link

Lee Bantle 11:57 AM  

I wanted to stop by and say thanks for the review and for bringing some attention to the book. I'm not much of a sports guy myself, but I thought putting David on the running team would distinguish him from a sterotyped version of a gay teen and would put him in a milieu where his desires would come to the fore.

I've enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. Keep up the good work.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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