cover image I’ll Take Everything You Have

I’ll Take Everything You Have

James Klise. Algonquin, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-6162-0858-5

Klise (When Love Comes to Town) uniquely portrays 1934 Chicago through the eyes of queer 16-year-old Joe Garbe as he wrestles with moral ambiguity, palpable desperation, and a deep longing for queer love and community in this gritty noir novel. Joe plans to spend the summer in Chicago with his cousin Bernie working in the Lago Vista’s hotel kitchen and sending money back to his mother to help revive their crumbling Illinois country farm. He doesn’t expect to get involved in the city’s underground queer subculture or to become romantically entangled with two other young men seeking connection. But when Joe gets wrapped up in one of Bernie’s illicit money-making schemes, which dangerously intersects with Joe’s secret queer identity, the potential consequences endanger Joe’s desired future. Pulling from a wealth of research, as described in an author’s note, Klise details an arresting narrative replete with historical minutiae and slang (“Everything around us looked swell, marble walls and brass ticket counters”) to provide a mesmerizing snapshot of 1930s Chicago via a narrative that is atmospheric and economically told. Joe cues as white. Ages 13–17. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Feb.)