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David Inside Out Hardcover – May 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805081224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805081220
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this somewhat uneven novel, David comes out as gay, first to himself, and then to friends and eventually to his mother. Along the way, he experiences plenty of angst, from a friend asking him to join the Gay/Straight Alliance he formed, to trying to figure out how to handle a close female friend who wants to be more than his buddy. David even strikes up an intense physical relationship with his track teammate (but while David hopes for romance, Sean tells him, "Guys fool around, you know. Nobody talks about it, that's all"). Readers will be moved by David's struggles, but he never really comes across as an authentic character, and many of the book's devices (like the reassuring counselor he connects with through a gay hotline) seem contrived. There are some exciting moments (David agonizes over a note he gets from a mysterious male admirer, wondering if it's a set-up, for example), but ultimately David's journey seems like well-tread territory. Ages 14-up.
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Review

Praise for David Inside Out:

“The writing is meaty and full of well-conceived characterizations, believable plot devices and plenty of wisdom for teens trying to understand themselves.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bantle describes the teen’s emotional roller coaster in such an open and honest manner that readers will feel everything from his anguish to his elation. While this book will have wide appeal due to its universal themes of first love and the search for one’s identity, it will be especially intriguing to readers who are struggling with their own sexuality. They will be able to understand and relate to David and his quest for self-discovery”—School Library Journal

“Bantle’s writing is crisp and spare, with no sentimentality or long-winded introspection; his second novel is a refreshing contribution to the “coming out” genre and a powerful example of an honest teen voice.”—The Horn Book Magazine


More About the Author

I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn in a sunny apartment where I do my writing. I set David Inside Out in Minneapolis, Minnesota where I grew up and went to college.

David Inside Out is based in part on my experiences growing up gay in Minnesota before the age of Gay/Straight Alliances, television shows like Will & Grace, and books like the this one. My goal in writing the book was to capture the evolving dynamics in play today while giving voice to the complicated feelings that still accompany coming to terms with one's sexual identity. I wrote the book for gay teens who are struggling with their sexual identity, but also for the girls who may date and fall in love with these guys. I also hoped to promote greater understanding of LGBT people among straight readers and to tell a good coming of age story.

One of my early memories of writing was in high school. I wrote an essay about an accountant who was buttoned down and hardworking by day, but a party-time guy and playboy by night. My teacher loved the duality. And of course, it spoke of my own dilemma, an expression of self.

What inspired me to write my first book, Diving for the Moon, was the AIDS crisis. My friends were dying. Paul lasted only eight days after diagnosis. So, I wrote Diving for the Moon, about a hemophiliac boy who gets infected with HIV.

I write to understand the world around me and to be a witness to history.

Besides being a writer, I am a practicing lawyer. (It pays the bills.) I represent employees in discrimination lawsuits. You can find out more at my website civilrightsfirm.com. My favorite part of being a lawyer is making the closing argument to the jury. If you want to win, you have to tell a compelling story and capture the jurors' imaginations. This is where my writing career helps out at the office. So I compose the facts in a good narrative and pitch it to each of the men and women of the jury. Then they go out. It's win or lose. I love the drama!



Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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With its easy prose, believable dialogue and well developed characters this book is a true joy to read.
Darcy Wishard
I have a feeling this will be one of those underdog books, so I really hope people will pick up a copy and spread the word.
Shooting Stars Magazine
The novel's ending has many twists, which certainly makes the book much more interesting and less predictable.
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Shooting Stars Magazine on May 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
David Inside Out was a book that I'd been looking forward to reading for awhile and I'm grateful I was given the chance to review it. It's a very fast read: I got so caught up in the story, I was able to finish it in only one day.

David's best friend Eddie comes out as gay and shows that he doesn't care, it's just the way he is. David, on the other hand, pushes him away so people won't call him "gay by association" if you will and pretends that he doesn't have the same feelings. He even acts as if he likes his other best friend, Kick, who has a crush on him...but eventually the truth will need to come out and he's simply prolonging the inevitable.

No matter what though, I was happy to see that Kick and Eddie's reactions to David were realistic and genuine. That's how I would describe the whole book actually. Sean and David's "relationship" seemed real, as Sean refused to admit his sexuality, while David begins to see that it might be the right thing to do.

I loved these characters and I honestly felt for all of them, no matter how they were managing their lives. Whether you are gay or not, it's hard to "come out" and be true to yourself. Life tries to tell you how to be and this book definitely focuses on how these lives are changed while they come to terms with who they are and who they love.

Recommended? Yes, definitely! I have a feeling this will be one of those underdog books, so I really hope people will pick up a copy and spread the word.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Copeland on June 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Here's a thoughtful, highly involving novel penned by Lee Bantle--his second YA novel, and already he writes like an expert in the genre, creating a tapestry of believable, well drawn characters, edge-of-your-seat dramatic scenes, and whipsmart dialogue that crackles with humor and tension. Make no mistake, this ain't your father's YA novel--but a new, much more honest kind that deals with classical coming out conflicts in today's times. Looking for a pretty resolution? Look elsewhere. But if you want a book which builds to a crescendo with honesty, and great love for its main characters (it must be said, there's a little bit of David in every gay boy) then don't think twice. Hit the buy button. Do not deliberate. Do not equivocate. Treat yourself to a lovely, emotional, enjoyable read. Kudos to Bantle for delivering this much needed injection of honest love into this genre.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover 17 on May 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The second I finished reading this book, I jumped on-line so I could express my excitement over this incredibly important piece of young adult literature. Lee Bantle has masterfully captured the ubiquitous angst of adolescence, only this time much of the heartbreak centers on self discovery related to a teenager's sexuality. Although the story will be especially relevant to kids who are experiencing emotions similar to David's, the question it poses is universal-- How do we come to accept ourselves so we can live an authentic life? -- that's why I recommend the book for all teens experiencing the struggles of growing up. And don't get the idea that this book is a downer or too heavy duty. Bantle manages to write a heartfelt piece that offers up as much laughter as it does tears. A sincere, lovely book in all respects. (And I love how he writes about food.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan on June 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Between track, school, college applications, and relationships David learns more about himself and others in many life-changing experiences.

For David, life isn't without challenges, with his father dying when he was five, high school classes, and now: coming to terms with his feelings towards men. While going through this self-discovery, he is fortunate to have the great support of his mother mom, who always seems to be there to lift him up just enough, but not overdo it to become overbearing.

His journey regarding his homosexuality started when his friend Eddie, an openly gay more effeminate character, who shares his love for romance novels, came out of the closet. At the moment, David wasn't too keen on the idea of being gay and didn't want to be involved with anything having to do with being gay including being around his best friend. However, he was still attracted to an eye-catching track teammate, Sean. To avoid homosexual thinking, David wore a rubber band around his wrist and snapped it to try to stop those thoughts.

The attractive runner, Sean, and David's relationship continued to evolve and became racy and romantic. Through their relationship they learn more about themselves in regards to their homosexuality, but also more about how they should treat people and their general identities. Sean turns out to be not the most perfect guy in the world, but also seems to be going through similar issues that David is facing. Kick, David's friend who's a girl, only complicated matters. At first David and Kick were great friends, and then they dated. Their friendship evolved while David's feelings towards guys developed further.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm actually surprised this book has averaged such a high rating. It's rather short - only 184 pages - and I found the first 60 pages or so to be bland and lacking a real sense of direction or interest. Which only leaves a little more than 100 pages of somewhat decent plot and character development.

All of the characters seemed like the stereotypical ones you'd find in a gay coming-of-age story: the flamboyant best friend; the confused and soon-to-be-alcoholic jock; the sassy/horny, yet oblivious girlfriend. Factor in the simplistic dialogue and this book seems more fit for an after school TV special.

Maybe it's because I didn't grow up in a small town, which is why this book didn't work for me. But honestly, I've read better examples which did have more interesting characters and plot twists (Leave Myself Behind, by Bart Yates; The Vast Fields of Ordinary, by Nick Burd).

Overall, I can't really recommend this book unless you're a really big fan of gay-coming-of-age stories and have read through a bunch of better books and just want something else in the same genre.
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