When Love Comes to Town

Tom Lennon, Author, James Klise, Introduction by
Tom Lennon. Albert Whitman, $15.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8075-8916-8
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Paperback - 175 pages - 978-0-86278-361-7
Ebook - 111 pages - 978-1-84717-513-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-62854-9
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 294 pages - 978-1-4804-2001-4
Ebook - 294 pages - 978-1-4804-1989-6
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An Irish teen slowly comes out as gay in a 20th-anniversary edition of a novel written under a pseudonym, available in the U.S. for the first time. Growing up in the 1990s, Neil Byrne feels lonely and isolated living in Dublin. After he tells a few allies about his sexuality, forms a community at a local gay bar, and starts seeing an attractive older boy, he grows more confident in his identity. Still, Neil fears being rejected by his family and friends if he reveals his secret. Lennon throws a slew of problems in Neil’s way, making the novel feel somewhat contrived and instructional. Beyond Neil’s fear of being found out, he is beaten up leaving a gay bar, finds out a friend is dying of AIDS, and contemplates suicide. Neil’s internal dialogue—including imagined conversations with Jesus Christ—helps readers understand the accumulating pressure he feels. As author James Klise writes in his smart introduction, the book is an important reminder of how many more resources and role models there are for gay teens today. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)
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