Kris’ New Year’s Readolution 3! To try a different author and/or genre once a month.
So, I did actually read a whole heap of new-to-me authors last month, but I never actually tasted one. Whoopsy. Anyways, here ’tis now.
Absolutely, Positively Not… by David Larochelle
Steven doesn’t know if he’ll pass his driver’s test or if he’ll ever understand his parents, but there’s one thing her knows for sure: He’s absolutely, positively NOT gay. How could he be, when he conscientiously collects photos of girls in bikinis and makes a point to sit at the jock table? So what if he takes a golden retriever to the dance because he can’t face telling his mom that he doesn’t have a date? So what if he thinks Coach Bowman is, well, extremely, unnervingly handsome. Who wouldn’t? Right?
Why I bought it:
I’ve been going through the YA books on Lee Wind’s site and this blurb caught my imagination.
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ Or more of a warning~ The people who think we’re living in a gay utopia where all stories should reflect queer experiences where everyone automatically accepts and believes everything about themselves and each other and that this magically makes everything alright in the world should probably stay away from this book.
Like~ What I liked about it so much – and why gaytopians or conservatives aren’t likely too (see above) – is that it is one of the first YA books I’ve read where the main character, Steven, really struggles, denies, explores, etc the fact that he might be gay. For this reason, I think this is a story many will be able to relate to because it reminds us of how we also stumbled our way through the highs and lows of adolescence in an attempt to work out who we were – or might be – as individuals.
Dislike~ Or another warning~ This is not a love story where the main character comes out because he’s ‘found’ a boyfriend or whatever. I actually thought this made the theme more realistic because, rather than being based on external factors, Absolutely, Positively Not is, at its heart, a story about the acceptance of oneself. I personally find these stories the more empowering.
Like~ I LOLed, cringed, giggled, got exasperated, snorted and even awwed whilst reading this book. I finished it very satisfied that Steven had made a positive, if somewhat tentative, step forward on his journey, which I think is a testament to the development of both story and characters by this author.
So, what I think: Absolutely, Positively Not is a touching, funny and, above all else, convincing coming out story. It is perfect for those who enjoy YA and are interested in a couple of hours of entertaining reading. I really liked it.
‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.