Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
Summary: Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Robert L. Goodkind High School. Then his online gay-chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted start of the school's baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students too. There's his best friend, Min, who reveals that she's bisexual, and her soccer-playing girlfriend, Terese. And there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike. But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves? "We just choose a club that's so boring, nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it Geography Club!" Brent Hartinger's debut novel is fast-paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest school club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of a typical American high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart. (taken from book jacket)
First Line: "I was deep behind enemy lines, in the very heart of the opposing camp."
My Critique: Here's the deal...I love a coming of age story as much as the next guy but this one seemed at once both a bit too tidy and a bit too messy. It's so cliché with the plot and characters. There's the token school outcast and the token school jock bullies. And then the star baseball player (who is the total heart throb of the entire school) just so happens to be gay and is also interested in the protagonist of the story? I mean really? That kind of stuff doesn't happen. That would be like high school me finding out that Jimmy McClung (Jimmy McClung!) had a thing for chubby girls and, guess what!!, he liked me. Just doesn't happen. I thought the idea behind the book was a good one...an in depth look at teens struggling with their sexuality and coming to terms with that within their own selves and also with their families and friends....good thing the main character's best friend not only accepted him for being gay but...now here's a shocker...she's gay too! How about that?! I mean really? Really? It was just not believable from the get go. But it only took me about 4 hours to read it so really, what did I lose? Nothing. Anyway, take that advice as you will.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Geography Club, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind.......