* "Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature." -- , starred review
Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.
Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.
Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what's considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.
Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they're willing to risk -- to get the thing they want the most.
Konigsberg (The Porcupine of Truth) explores how conventional ideas about masculinity trap young men into believing they must act a certain way. Handsome, smart, and athletic, Max is good at a lot of things, in particular hiding his feelings and smiling through anything ("Warrior up," his dad used to say). Shy, unathletic Jordan doesn't have much to smile about: his father died, his mother is a mess, and they could soon lose their house. Both guys are 17 and go to the same school, but Jordan sees Max as just another "Dude Bro": it never occurs to him that Max is gay, too. When Max ends up helping Jordan reinvent his father's food truck business, the two become friends. Jordan can't imagine that someone like Max could like him; Max struggles to face the truth about sexual violence that he experienced in the past. Both want their relationships with their friends to be more honest, but they don't know how to change things. Konigsberg ups the stakes as the teens improve their food truck game, become more vulnerable (Max) and more confident (Jordan), and learn to ask for what they want, making for a fun, romantic, and moving novel. Ages 14 up.
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Truly Amazing Read
This book is amazing! I love that the story doesn’t focus on the anxiety of coming out but really digs into the real joys and challenges of life. Well paced and emotionally complex. I was glued to every page. Thanks for writing this book.