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DISHES by Rich Wallace


by Rich Wallace

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-01139-1
Publisher: Viking

Ogunquit, Maine: Gayest. Town. Ever. And Danny’s destination for a summer job.

Once he’s there, he hopes to find lots of cute girls—not guys—while he works in his dad’s restaurant, Dishes, which also happens to be one of the gayest hangouts in the town. Stereotypes are beaten down in the first few pages; while Ogunquit is the backdrop, it’s not necessarily the theme. Danny’s a runner by nature and a loner by nurture, and readers come to understand that he’s not just looking for girls. He’s also searching for peace of mind, companionship with his father and a retreat from his broken home in New Jersey. The girl comes in the form of a skeptically cute waitress named Mercy, and companionship comes from the other guys who work at and frequent Dishes. Readers will hope that Danny’s newly formed social network will help him move past the need to want the same thing from his dad.

Wallace’s true form shines with short, choppy, succinct chapters and an action-driven plot full of laughs, misunderstandings, grit and fun. (Fiction. YA)