Attracted to the bold, the risky, and the unknown, Hattie Darrow plays Don Quixote to Reid MacGregory’s role as Sancho Panza. Reid is content playing Hattie’s side-kick extraordinaire in pranks and at parties.  Where Reid is calm and reasonable, Hattie is spontaneous and daring; her energy luminesces around her.  From the time Reid met Hattie in middle school, Reid saw her potential and declared: “Being Hattie Darrow’s friend would make me better” (51). As the two are about to enter their senior year in high school, Hattie is still Reid’s social oxygen.  “Humiliation is a language [Hattie] doesn’t speak, and she doesn’t want [Reid] toRead More →

Francis Meredith is clever, funny, interesting, and creative, but he is too worried about the judgment of others to recognize his gifts.  Because he is chided at school for his interest in fashion, design, and sewing, he thinks it is impossible to be happy being himself. So, when he encounters Jessica Fry, he believes he has enough problems without adding an ability to see and hear dead people. Jessica, a ghost who can think herself into a wardrobe, becomes Francis’ friend in what he sees as an otherwise friendless world.  They have an interest in clothes in common and both can talk about synthetic fabricsRead More →

Getting out from under the intense weight on my chest after reading Matthew Quick‘s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has taken some time.  I felt pulled down into a deep, dark hole, all alone with only my thoughts about the futility of life, the lack of care or concern for myself or others, and a resigned sense of defeat in the face of an untenable future.  The slope down into Leonard’s depression is slippery and quick and getting back out isn’t easy work.  Which is the long way of saying that in Leonard Peacock Quick has expertly captured and painfully portrayed depression, anger, and isolation atRead More →

To describe David Levithan’s book Two Boys Kissing is like trying to nail Jello to a tree.  This chapterless book is a support narrative and survival story for anyone who has considered suicide or who has been ashamed of his/her body, it is a love story, and it is a book about perseverance and finding a good time in a remarkably dire place, but most of all, it is a story of hope.  Although Levithan tells the tales of Tariq, Cooper, Ryan, Avery, Craig, Harry, Peter, and Neil, he also spins a tribute to all the homosexual men who came before them as forefathers inRead More →