BAD BOY by Diana Wieler


Age Range: 13 & up
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 A second novel that builds on the strengths of the author's first, Last Chance Summer (1991): here, A.J. thinks his 16th year will be the best yet--until he discovers that his closest friend, Tully, is gay and that his hockey coach condones deliberate brutality on the ice. A.J. has proudly moved up to the Cyclones, a Triple-A team, and is developing an intense interest in Tully's younger sister, Summer. But finding Tully at a gay bar with a teammate turns his world upside down; he takes out his sense of betrayal (and fright at his own feelings) by going after opposing players, accepting his spreading reputation as a ``bad boy'' with guilty pleasure. The two young men are well-drawn, complex characters: glib, unstable Tully bitterly contemplates the loss of a treasured friend and the impossibility of keeping a secret in a small town, while A.J., inarticulate and socially inept, struggles desperately to lay both confusion and prejudice to rest. Believable subplots, some violent hockey action, and a particularly strong supporting cast enhance a story that is thoughtful and, ultimately, optimistic: in the end, the friendship survives. (Fiction. 13+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-30415-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1992