ROUGH PATCH by Nicole Markotic

ROUGH PATCH

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A closeted aspiring figure skater struggles with friends, family, and relationships.

Keira’s Calgary high school isn’t a bastion of tolerance, but there’s a small clique of gay kids she could theoretically join if she revealed her sexuality. Sadly, she knows they’d never accept a “by-sex-you-all.” If she dates a boy, she’ll never get a chance with a girl; if she reveals her feelings for boys, the gay kids will think she’s a coward trying to seem “normal.” Plagued by crushes on boys and girls alike, Keira struggles with her best friend’s casual homophobia. After a secret relationship, revelations, and traumas, Keira encounters a resolution so cruel that it hearkens back to the era when queer teens in books for teens were always punished by novel’s end. The myriad concerns of this white ice skater’s life (as well as the aforementioned issues, Keira struggles with bullying at home and at school, money problems, and grade worries) threaten to overwhelm the narrative. Her supposedly all-consuming passion for figure skating is drowned by the surplus of topics and enthusiastic parenthetical asides and could be swapped with any other hobby with scarcely any noticeable change.

Bisexual teen protagonists are rare enough to give some value to a middling entry like this one, but it’s best for completists who’ve already read better choices, such as Hannah Moskowitz’s landmark Not Otherwise Specified (2015). (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 16th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-55152-681-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2017




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