cover image Time Out

Time Out

Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, and Carlyn Greenwald. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9262-2

Actor Hayes (Plum) and debut author Milliner, a producer, team up with Greenwald (Sizzle Reel, for adults) to craft a timely queer romance that unfolds amid the world of small-town social politics. Since his beloved grandfather’s recent death, basketball star Barclay has endeavored to live his “fullest life,” which means coming out as gay to his friends and loved ones. He announces the news on his 16th birthday, during his captain’s speech at a school pep rally, but instead of the cheers and support he expected, his declaration is met with foreboding silence. Afterward, it feels as if his school turns against him: he’s labeled an attention seeker, he overhears discussions regarding whether he should remain on the squad, and his teammates are openly homophobic. Fed up with the harassment, Barclay quits basketball and joins the school newspaper staff, where he meets and develops feelings for handsome, opinionated classmate Christopher, who helps Barclay report on the injustices and corruption occurring in their conservative Georgia community. Vibrant, well-defined characters add credibility to issues surrounding grief, love, and prejudice, while meticulous pacing and careful attention to the bureaucracy of towns ruled by local sports giants coalesce into a seamless, engrossing read. Ages 12–up. (May)