I read this book a while ago, but I specifically held back my review so that I could post it during Banned Books Week. Why? Partly because I think this book has a high likelihood of being challenged, and partly because I think Lauren Myracle has shown an awful lot of grace under fire when her books are challenged. Heck, she even responded with grace when this book was accidentally included on [and later removed from] the short list for the National Book Award. She is just a classy lady! Though, I guess the people who try to get her books banned would disagree with me on that point. 😉
Why would this particular book get challenged? First of all, the entire story is built around a hate crime in which a young gay man was brutally beaten and left for dead. Some people would think that is too ugly for teens to read, despite the unfortunate fact that events like this have happened to teens in the “real world.” Some people would object to the foul language that is used in this book, though I would argue that there is no way to tell such an ugly story without using suitably ugly words. There are some other things in the story that I am sure people might find too unsavory for teen readers, too, but I will avoid spoilers and let the story unfold naturally for people who wish to experience this book for themselves. While I don’t believe in censorship, I definitely believe that readers should be prepared for what is in store and would certainly not recommend this story lightly. This is a recommendation I reserve for the people who want the dark, depressing books on my You Think YOU Have Problems? book list.
Happy Banned Books Week!