Tuesday, May 3, 2011
You Must Read This Book
Y'all. The sun is shining, the birds are singing (okay, the geese are honking, which isn't quite as pleasant, but whatever), and I read a really, really good book today. One of my Goodreads friends recommended it to me, and I'm so happy they did. This story should not be missed.
Here's the blurb (it doesn't do the story justice by any means, but it's what we've got to work with):
Straight jockboy Kevin thinks he has gay, cross-dressing
Danny under his thumb. Kevin only likes girls.
So... why does he keep thinking about her?
Kevin is a star football player on the verge of losing his spot on the team because of his grades. But that all changes when he spots a pretty girl across the room at a party and realizes that it's actually Daniel, the new kid in school and the second string quarterback. Kevin makes a deal with Dani-- she helps him pass his classes and he won't tell the whole school about Dani's little hobby.
The relationship between these two characters is absolutely magic. Real and easy and loving and painful and everything that a true relationship is, no matter the genders or sexualities of the people involved. It's a beautiful thing to watch unfold, and the author does an incredible job sharing it with us.
Kevin may be presented as a typical jock, but he's so much more than that. There is real kindness there, under the rough, teenage boy exterior. And Daniel, Danny, Dani, is a real person, struggling with issues of identity and acceptance. More acceptance of self than acceptance by others.
It's not perfect. There are places where difficult dynamics seem to be more in the characters' heads than on the page. Well, many of our problems are more in our heads than in reality. But in the relationship between Kevin and his father, Kevin seems to be pushing hard against an obstacle that just isn't there. At the same time, the author doesn't shy away from some difficult, painful truths in Kevin and Dani's relationship. Both have their issues, and something kind of horrible happens between them that must be overcome. I'm not sure how I feel about that incident, but it's a lot like looking at other relationships that have hit a hard speed bump. Could I get past it? I don't know. But do I believe that these two have managed to move on? Absolutely.
That's what's so wonderful about these characters. They're real and believable. They grow and change individually and as a couple, and it's a wonderful journey. The end of the book is a little after school special, but Kevin and Dani are so terrific that I'm willing to forgive that.
So where can you buy this amazing book? You can't. Because for some reason it's not been picked up and published by anyone. (Silly, silly publishers.) It is available for free, though, published online by the author. (And that is the final proof of how good this story is-- I hate reading on a computer screen for any length of time, but I happily spent the entire afternoon reading this.) So here it is: The Girl For Me by Failte. If you enjoy it half as much as I did, I hope you'll pass the link on to everyone you know. This story deserves to be read.