The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Boy Meets Boy
Paul is a sophomore at a high school where the cheerleaders ride Harleys; the trans homecoming queen, Infinite Darlene, is also the star quarterback; and the local Boy Scouts have renamed themselves the 'Joy Scouts' after renouncing the organisation's gay-unfriendly policies. Against this wonderfully utopian background, the super-confident Paul, 'the first openly gay class president in Mrs Farquar's third grade class' meets a boy, Noah, and falls in love.
Everything seems set for the perfect romance - but with best friend Joni's dramas to deal with, ex-boyfriend Kyle still on the scene, and high school bookie Rip taking bets on the future of their relationship, can Paul and Noah make it work? Meanwhile, Paul is determined to help Tony, a friend from the less egalitarian neighbouring town, who is struggling with his religious parents who can't accept his sexuality.
This delightful high-school story is set in a town in which being a gay teenager is no more fraught with difficulty than being straight. Unlike many young adult novels with a gay protagonist, this is neither a 'coming out' story, nor a book in which sexuality is a problem, but rather a witty and sparky love story that teens will love. A quirky romance with an appealing narrator, this is an uplifting and affirmative young adult novel which celebrates the joys of friendship and first love.