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by Brian Sloan

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-87439-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Two best friends, Hal and Chuck, spend their first summer apart. Chuck, the love-smitten, accepting actor, goes to theatre camp. Hal, the charmingly wry curmudgeon, stays home and falls for a pot-smoking French boy. What follows is their hilarious, button-pushing, sincere and very intense blog-o-spondence as they recall and reflect upon each other’s madcap summer adventures. Readers will notice, however, that their tête-à-tête soon gives way to weighty and multi-layered discussions about friendship, love, self-respect, sex and physical attraction. Sloan’s freshly believable reality and smart-alecky teen-speak lightens the mood, but their conversations often become so intense the reader will find themselves turning the pages at a slower rate. Even so, the level of complexity frees up Sloan to take Chuck and Hal’s friendship in directions that no gay-themed YA novel has ever been before. Their path, traced from a drunken misunderstanding to an unabashed and candid dialogue of ideas and dreams, optimistically underscores a time when young gay and straight men can come together in close, meaningful friendship. And, where they can bandy ideas back and forth in an unflinching manner without worrying they’ll offend each other. (Fiction. YA)