This next book, while FICTIONAL, tells the story of 3 boys; Jason, Kyle and, Nelson. All of them are in high school. While that is hard enough as it is, what makes it harder is falling in love with your best friend, who just happens to be the most popular guy in school.
We begin with Jason Carrillo, a jock, popular and, "active" with his girlfriend w/ unresolved feelings about who he was. He didn't understand how he could be gay. After carrying around a 'Rainbow Youth' group card in his back pocket, he attended a meeting and seen other classmates there as well, Kyle Meeks and Nelson Glassman. Nervously he stayed.
When Kyle was little, he knew he was different. Every time the subject of girls came around, he was never interested. It was the eighth grade when Kyle met Nelson with whom he had known was different. After school they had learned about each other and Kyle felt he was no longer alone.
The two soon bonded and hung out. But the following Monday, Kyle looked for Jason to make sure and apologize about Nelson and the meeting last Saturday. Kyle looked for Nelson to make sure he didn't say anything about Jason. After school, while they were trying to patch thing up in the rain under an umbrella, which Kyle shared w/ Nelson, continuing until they got they to Nelson's. Jason, a mist to making out with his girlfriend, Debra, began to dream it was Nelson, which scared him. But what could he say? He was interested in her, if only for re-assurance. Feeling uncertain, Debra began to "pleasure" him, only then does Jason dream that it was Kyle. He wanted to talk about what happened w/ Debra, but who? His first thought was - Kyle!
Kyle and Nelson had the idea to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at school. After school, Kyle tried to tell his parents at dinner about the alliance, but how could he if he couldn't even come out? The next morning before an appointment, Kyle seen Jason - a chance he may not have gotten again - and gave Jason a ride home which was pretty far away. Getting to know each other more, Kyle finally asked him the question he wanted and with the TRUE answer Jason BOLTED fearfully from the car!, which gave Kyle a new confidence to say more.
At the time of the homecoming dance, Jason went with Debra. Pulling at his tie all evening w/ the regret of taking his girlfriend. A little agitated at Debra, Jason couldn't stop thinking about Kyle. When Debra kept asking him what was wrong, even after "trying", he was despondent to respond. Talking lead to a "break" from the relationship - from her/not him. The following afternoon, Kyle went to Jason's for help with studying math - studying, small talk, nothing more.
When Kyle's mom came home from the grocery store, she had made dinner for the family. Kyle had bared ALL and OFFICIALLY come out to her! The reaction was unexpected. Just then, his dad came in and after dinner, he told his dad w/ an angry fight that followed. Leaving the dinner table, excusing himself, cleaning his plate and leaving the kitchen; he grabbed his jacket and stormed out! After his mom and him talked in the car, after his dad was asleep, he called Nelson quietly. The next day his dad gave him the silent treatment.
On a Sunday afternoon, after dealing with his dad's drinking the previous day, Jason and Kyle went to the movies and sat. During the film, nerves ABLAZE! They slowly began to hold hands during the movie - with Jason beginning first. But onlookers/passerby's in the theater made Jason pull back quickly after the apparent contact w/ each other. Tensions had been brewing for Kyle and his dad and they came to a boil the day after Thanksgiving when they were gone at a football game. When the dust settled his dad asked worriedly about HIV? Redundantly he replied no need for worry. When he went back to school, Kyle still felt awful for hitting Nelson. He bought him a gift as a peace offering and apologized. Everything was cool.
After walking home together, Kyle and Nelson had a beer bottle thrown at them from a passer truck shouting vulgarity. Experiencing that TOGETHER made Kyle want to start confiding in Nelson again - about Jason. He began to tell Nelson about Saturday night unsettled that he might he ACTUALLY be falling past the "friends" stage w/ Jason.
A party gathering for the Rainbow Group was held. At the party, Nelson spotted a cute guy, Blake. After the introductions and chatting, Nelson and Blake left the party together. Completely excited, Nelson began talking to Blake. After a few FIRST drinks to soothing nerves, they made out. Blake "jerked" Nelson. The emotions came, but we all know hesitation for preparation. Moving around made for a TRUTH about virginity. That stopped everything. On the way home, Nelson thought of Kyle losing his virginity to Jason.
After school on Monday, Debra grew tireless of Jason. She wanted him to explain where it was EXACTLY they stood. Fearfully, he told her the truth and came out to her. She reacted Hatefully back to him! (She had a right to.) At home, things kept worsening between Jason's dad and his mom.
At this point since coming out, Kyle had seen and experienced the type of bashing that Nelson suffered DAILY! After trying to swear off Jason - in all areas - on Kyle's behalf, guess who shows up at his door needing help? After some deep insight and secrecy coming abroad, before leaving Kyle asked Jason nervously if he could kiss him? Both experiencing a first kiss. After the initial shock of what happened, what could he do? Jason ran nervously away w/ Kyle running after him. Realizing later that he ACTUALLY got to kiss the boy he LOVED while getting a kiss back!
Around Christmas time when Nelson was blown off again by his father, disappointed, he seen a message online from a suitor, Brick, asking for "company". Agreeably he went. Having a beer to calm his nerves, he ended up to lose his virginity to someone he didn't even know that already had a lover. It was after that Nelson began to think of this STRANGERS HIV status, now if he had it? Key note: How could he have been so stupid?
Back at school, Jason suffered the ramifications of coming out to Debra. Jokes almost become something worse. At home, w/ his parents fighting and caring for his little sister, she began to question, like a youngster, about "certain" things! After 3 days of not showing up at school, Kyle became worried about Nelson, "What's wrong? Why haven't you been in school?" COMPLETELY in a depressive state, Nelson hadn't shown up due to over-stressing the weekends events and POSSIBLE consequences. Not wanting to have a lecture, but wanting compassion/comfort from Kyle. He gave him a hug, but then the emotions came tears. When his mom came in to situate dinner, he couldn't eat. (Too Bad!) Nelson REALLY did appreciate Kyle being there and not freaking out about it!
It was the following Saturday that Nelson's mom wanted to talk (which she tried to do all week) . His mom forced the conversation by wondering why Nelson didn't want to talk or do anything but stay in bed. He began to tell her the truth about the night his dad blew him off and losing his virginity. As any mom, she panicked of what to do? After the talk, he heard from Kyle and cleaned himself up and went back to school.
The following Saturday, Nelson went to a 'Rainbow Youth' meeting and heard a speaker discuss HIV and heard someone else speak his story. Jeremy told his experience/story then after it was over, Nelson & him spoke. Afterwards, exchanged numbers for someone to TALK to and come to for help made Nelson see that life doesn't have to stop just because of what you have wrong w/ you.
After being recruited to a school, as he biked home after school, Kyle was jumped by Jack Ransom. Jason was there and helped fight back Jack. After it was over, they went to Jason's to clean up. Talking shit over led to patching things up. After they left, his dad drunkenly began to physically fight his son for having "those" kids in his house. After that was over, when his dad drunkenly left, he/Jason felt victory and proud of himself for FINALLY standing up to his dad.
When Kyle got home from the day's events, his dad actually took pride into his son's first fight and that he was able to defend himself against this type of incident(s). He even began to show more interest into being more of a support for his son by seeing what P-FLAG was ALL ABOUT! The following Saturday Kyle prepped himself ready, after removing the braces and the glasses, for a dinner out w/ Jason. Going over to get him, he noticed a darkness inside of the house, no answering the doorbell, an unlocked door thinking something had happened. Walking inside he found Jason w/ his eyes swollen from crying. His dad had officially packed his shit and left for good. Although he felt he fucked up BIG time, he said his dad left due to Jason's sexuality. With his mom at a relative's and Jason home alone, he wanted Kyle to stay w/ him. Feeling an abundance of emotion, Kyle forwarded his emotion into "MORE" w/ Jason. After it was over, his mom came home, unaware of what just happened.
The next day, Sunday, Nelson wanted "details" about his experience. But then nerves caught up w/ wondering if he could be in a relationship w/ someone who was positive? When he got home, his dad had called, which made for Nelson throwing the phone FURIOUSLY! The following Saturday, Nelson had a date w/ Jeremy. Going made nerves ablaze. It made only for making out and taking things slow. Going back to school, the news of a GSA was successful.
After Jason awoke from making love w/ Kyle, after the morning fixtures, he heard the doorbell and w/ a surprise, it was Debra, there to apologize! Wanting to be friends, except the sex, pick up as best friends. Amiss the students in the hall, he spotted Nelson whom he could no longer ignore. It was merely "Hi, See you later". Just then a freshman was pulling down signs that Jason had posted. A slight altercation, nothing more. He felt embarrassed, but NOT sorry. He was sick of gay jokes. It was at lunch that Jason braced himself, through the hall crowd, through the councilor's office, his hand trembling the knob. With Kyle there, he took a deep breath and officially entered the gay and straight meeting. A first step into a new world!
Here's MY opinion:
This book DOES speak volumes about what teens go through EVERYDAY to acknowledge and become the people we were meant to be!