So, I have to read this book for a comparison paper that I am writing for my young adult literature class. I read this book a LONG time ago, back when it first came out and I was really getting into LGBTQ YA lit. There are so many thing that I love about this book including two of my favorite characters:
Min: The main character Russel's best friend, who is bisexual! There aren't enough bi characters in YA lit. Or in any lit really.
Belinda: The straight girl who wants to join the Geography Club because she likes geography! yay geography!
I love how realistic this book is. The main characters, all who are gay to some degree, aren't perfect. The do spend a good portion of the book complaining about how it's hard to be gay in a society that devalues homosexuality. But unlike some gay teens in YA lit, they don't become dumping grounds for morality. They make mistakes and are assholes to other kids, which is totally real. (not very nice, but real). I'm specifically thinking of how they treat another student named Brian Bund. Brian is the school loser, and gets teased and assaulted on a daily basis. While some of the members of the club (Min, Belinda) think they should invite Brian to their club (even though they aren't sure if he is gay) others don't want to risk further alienation from the student body. And this sucks! But it's realistic to how teenagers are. Which I like alot. And I love how they start out this way, but grow and change over the course of the book. Yay for growing and changing! Hartinger writes teenagers as they actually would be, not how we, as readers (especially adult readers) want them to be. Good stuff.