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BOY GIRL BOY by Ron Koertge


by Ron Koertge

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-205325-5
Publisher: Harcourt

Three unlikely longtime friends—Elliot, the basketball star whose religious parents don’t approve of his friends, Theresa, the photographer who secretly harbors a crush on Elliot, and Larry, the clever film aficionado who’s slowly coming to terms with his homosexuality—plot a summer escape in the form of a road trip from their home in small-town Iowa all the way to California. As expected, Koertge creates fresh, familiar, multifaceted and well-rounded characters that provoke contemplation yet keep the reader turning the pages. In fact, it’s the characters that are the primary driving force behind this instead of its flimsy plot, and herein lies the crux: The characters are so well developed that their thoughts and dreams create a tangle of mini-subplots. Each thread is interesting and true to the character, but as a whole they seem to lead in no clear direction. This scattershot effect may mirror human existence but doesn’t necessarily make a story teenagers will want to read. Moreover, when Koertge does choose a place to move the plot forward, the result feels forced, especially after his delicate treatment of the characters’ journey through self-discovery and acceptance. (Fiction. YA)