I had to read this when I heard about all the controversy behind it. Apparently, there is a petition that has started to try and revoke it’s GG award. Members of the public claimed it to be ‘too graphic’ and ‘not appropriate for it’s targeted audience’.
When I heard this was a teen title, I immediately doubted that it would be inappropriate. Not many people actually realize what’s in some of the teen books. Sure it might say teen, but there’s a huge gap between a 13 year old and an 18 year old books. You can’t possibly tell me that you would treat those two age groups the exact same right? It’s impossible. Besides, with all the stuff kids are exposed to on the internet and on television, it’s hard to believe that they would not already know what’s in the books.
The book is about a boy named Jude. Jude is a gay teen who loves to wear heels and lipstick. He also believes he is destined for the a-list celebrity life. Despite the cruel comments and gestures people in his town make towards him, he takes it all as paparrazzi. It’s publicity to him because he’s addicted to attention and fame. If they’re talking about him, whether it be good or bad, at least it’s focused on him. Jude imagines his everyday life as a movie or very dramatic reality show. His best friend, Angela gets around a lot (if you know what I mean) and together, they stir themselves the perfect storm which could end in the worst ways.
The book has a lot of sex, drama and drugs. The sexual content it also extremely graphic. Which, in my opinion might be the only thing that is setting people off about the book. I mean come on, many teenagers already know about all that stuff and it’s not like they aren’t used to crude language. You aren’t hiding them from anything. Now I wouldn’t be putting this into the hands of a 13 year old or anything but it’s fine for an older teen read.
Teens can also easily relate to this book due to it’s current references to certain celebrities and social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. It’s also a really quick read, I read it in like 3 hours.
I honestly don’t see the problem though. This kind of setting happens a lot nowadays more than ever. People can’t just sensor this kind of stuff out of the lives of kids. They need to learn to accept it and respect it. Everyone can make their own choices in life so who are we to judge or decide what’s wrong or right.
I don’t believe this book deserves all the hate it’s getting. It’s a truly sad story about someone just simply looking for acceptance and love.
I’ll be giving this book a 6 out of 10.
Only because contemporary isn’t really my thing. I know a lot of people are really going to love it and some might not. I recommend you give it a try. And if you’re below the age of like 18… you’ve been warned.