Monday, February 27, 2012
What We're Reading: Guest Blog
Garrett dyes his hair black, wears black eyeliner, is aloof and cryptic, and is apparently involved in an apprenticeship to be a vampire. He is also hot, however, and becomes the object of the rival desires of both Judy and Kyle, who doubt Garrett’s vampire pose, but don’t really have a clue as to his sexual orientation. The resulting antics, fueled by sibling rivalry, desire, and stupendously awkward attempts at seduction, is a send-up of vampire books as well as a story about the frailties of young love.
There are generally two kinds of novels written for gay teens. The first is rather serious and focuses on the troubles that come with being gay; it is concerned with the differences between the experiences of gay youth and their heterosexual peers. In these novels, families are usually hostile to gay youth or generally unsupportive. In the other sort of “gay” novel, gay teens are part of families that are accepting and supportive, they have circles of friends their own age and find themselves part of a group that usually contains both gay and heterosexual friends. Their experiences in developing a sense of self identity and making their first romantic moves towards others are shown to be common experiences shared by all youth. The similarity of gay youth to their peers, rather than their differences, is the reassuring message of these types of novels, the kind Patrick Ryan writes. In Gemini Bites, Ryan shows that dishonesty in presenting your true self is sure to make things more difficult and awkward for you than they must inevitably be. But mostly this is just a fun read, in which teens straight and gay (and would-be vampires too!) will recognize themselves.
Reviewed by Hubert Kozak