A Very, Very Bad Thing

Jeffrey Self. Push, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-338-11840-7
A love story turns tragic, and a gay teen’s relationship catapults him to fame he may not deserve. “I’m a nobody who wanted to be a somebody,” claims Marley as he prepares to receive a major LGBTQ community award, after months of talk shows and interviews. In flashbacks, he reveals how he, “just another snarky gay kid from Winston-Salem, North Carolina,” meets out and proud Christopher Anderson, a new transfer student and the son of a famously anti-gay televangelist. Their initial flirting turns into a whirlwind romance, complete with subterfuge to fool Chris’s family, “like one of those bad nineties gay movies we never watch on Netflix.” When Chris dies, Marley, as the only witness, must decide what to tell the world, in order to make Chris’s memory and his own loss mean something. Self (Drag Teen) offers a thought-provoking tale of narrow-minded parents, media circuses, and stories that spin out of control, though it can also be overwrought and shallow at times, despite the intensity of the situation. However, the emotions are genuine, the characters are relatable, and the story feels sadly of the moment. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 10/31/2017
Ebook - 978-1-338-11842-1
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