Rating: 2 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Fag is the story of Aaron Garrett, a high school football star with a big secret. Aaron has a wonderful, supportive girlfriend, a best friend and a mom who loves him. Aaron knows he is gay and has been able to admit it to himself. The problem is, he lives in a small town where homosexuality is considered a sin, and he can see that there won’t be any support from anyone he loves if he comes out.
When a former child star makes homophobic comments and the town gathers around to support him, Aaron is once again convinced that coming out would be a terrible idea. Unfortunately, a twist of fate makes that decision for him, and now Aaron will have to face the consequences once the truth is revealed.
First of all, it’s important to know that this is not a romance in any way, shape or form. It is, I believe, intended only to be the story of Aaron’s coming out and all of the difficulties he faces. It is not a feel-good book. For having a title that could be seen as offensive to many people, it is also not graphic or vulgar in the slightest, other than the disgusting treatment by the homophobic community.
Besides being rather depressing and difficult to read, I am sad to say that the writing just wasn’t very good. There’s a lot of telling, not showing, which means quite a number of tedious details and really not a whole lot of anything going on. The characters were stereotypes — not one of the characters was anything but a predictable, shallow caricature of an ignorant bigot. The plot has been done a million times before, and the situations seemed both contrived and predictable.
There is nothing sadder than a young adult who feels like he has to stay in the closet and is not allowed to be who he or she was meant to be. In this regard, any time we can shine a light on the injustice of the bigotry that exists in the world is a good thing. However, I worry there’s not much hope contained in this book for a young adult, if he or she was reading this book in order to be inspired to live their lives out in the open. In fact, [spoiler] the story ends with Aaron’s apparent suicide, or at least attempt.[/spoiler] I can’t decide what the message is here, but I cannot recommend it to either young adults or adults. I applaud Krissy Bells for her effort, and hope her next book is better able to hit the mark.
Krissy is kindly offering up a giveaway of a copy of Fag to one winner. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest closes on Wednesday, May 7th at 11:59 pm EST.
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