Pray the Gay Away
by Sara York and Liz Bichmann
Jack is gay. He's not the happiest about this, but he's come to terms with it. The problem is that his father is the local preacher and his younger brother is fabulously gay. These details all put together mean problems. So he hides it. And he tries his best to make sure his little brother hides it too. He's doing a great job of being the typical southern small town jock. But when a boy named Andrew moves into town, and he happens to be gay, Jack instantly feels protective and attracted. Andrew's parents know he's gay and think that if they just pray hard enough, that'll go away. They also starve him and emotionally torment him. Jack feels sorry for him and sneaks him food, also makes sure the jocks don't pick on him. And now Andrew's falling for him too.
It's tough for two closeted boys to have a relationship, so there are a lot of rocky moments. There's also a lot of repetitive dialogue and overly dramatic declarations of love. But, hey, they're high school kids and this is their first real love. So I could stand a fair amount of it. Some of it felt a little clunky, though, and I don't know if I liked the writing enough to continue the series. I definitely liked the characters in this story, but kept waiting for the other shoe to drop the whole time plot-wise. I was mostly concerned about Billy, who was being told he had to hide who he was. It's a tough thing to tell a little boy who just wants to be a princess for Halloween. Poor kid. When things go bad for Jack, I was sure Jack could take care of himself, but what about little Billy?
The worst part was the non-ending. And the repetitive cheesy dialogue. I am glad to have made it through, but probably wouldn't put this on my recommended list, I'm sorry to say.