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Not the Only One: Lesbian and Gay Fiction for Teens Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555838340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555838348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. It has been 10 years since this collection first appeared. That we still need a special anthology for gay and lesbian fiction angers Summers, editor of this new edition, who notes, "It's segregation pure and simple." Of the 20 stories, 10 are new, including including submissions by Brent Hartinger, Donna Allegra, and Michael Thomas Ford. The best selections reach out to all readers with elemental coming-of-age themes such as leaving home, falling in love, and confronting secrets. Many depict individual diversity, and connections, and even present the occasional message ("I'm saying yes to my life and it feels great"). One teen has a crush on his sister's boyfriend. Another must hide her lesbianism at her sister's wedding. Some tell of prejudice and gay bashing. A few stories are sexy, but most are more about romance, friendship, family, and the sudden intimacy of falling in love. For general high-school collections as well as gay and lesbian discussion groups. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Jane Summer is the author of The Silk Road. She lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book in the 75% off bin at the university bookstore and grabbed it on a whim thinking it might be useful to assign as a possible book in the intro to women's studies course.

I'm glad I was in the bookstore and found this book. It was poignant and at times hilarious. The book is an edited volume with pieces written by various authors--including Gregory Macquire (Wicked).

The book's audience is a lay audience, in particular GLBTQ teen. But, I think that most readers would enjoy the book, since the sections cover topics of interest--first love, betrayal, youth memories, and the like.

The sections also highlight diversity--ethnic, racial, class, and, of course, gender. I read this book in one sitting. I laughed and might have shed a tear or two.
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Format: Paperback
The stories in "Not the Only One" are universally well-written, and it's definitely a worthwhile book to check out for anyone interested in GLBT fiction. (Speaking of which, why is it just "lesbian and gay"? That's a surprisingly limited range of queerness for a book published in 2004.) However, while about two-thirds of the stories are more relevant to a teenage audience, the other third are more adult. If your fourteen-year-old just came out of the closet and you want to buy him or her GLBT books to show your support, this may not be the book for you. According to the back cover, the stories "bring to life what it means to be gay or lesbian"; if we take that description at face value, "what it means to be gay or lesbian" includes adultery ("Mrs. Houdini's Wife"), teenagers having sex with older men they barely know ("Crossing Lines"), and adult men having sex with married men while using a fish skin and a pink ribbon by way of a condom ("She Won't Bite"). I don't mean to reduce those stories to those elements alone. I just want to point out that parents might find this too mature for younger teenagers, and that element of the book isn't clear in the product description. I read a lot of GLBT fiction in high school, and if I'd read this book when I was fourteen or fifteen, I would have thought parts of it were disturbing.

Having said that, there's a nice range of characters and writing styles in this book. My favorites are probably "Somebody's Boyfriend", about a teenage boy who finds himself drawn to the male friend his sister brings home, and "The Wildest Heart", in which a young woman reflects on how she failed to be supportive of her best friend in high school. "The Honorary Shepherds", about two boys who fall in love and must pick a myth to film for a class project, is very good as well and was previously published in "Am I Blue?", another GLBT teen anthology that's more generally uplifting and less explicit.
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By maria7x on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a teen struggling with your sexuality you are sure to find comfort in this book. If you're past the coming out part and have settled into your new gay life, this book is sure to bring back memories of how you might have felt. I recommend everyone should read this, gay or straight. It's a real eye opener to those who don't know what it feels like to be a gay teenager.
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