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Take the Lead Paperback – June 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615819568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615819560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,474,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I was not familiar with Johnny Diaz but after reading this work will read all of his books.
Miguelito Valdez
There were bits and pieces with his young lover, Craig, but from the summary a reader can tell that doesn't turn out well without labeling it a spoiler.
AVIDREADER
An easy read, but I found myself thinking about the characters in the book long after I had put it down.
John A. Hosterman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miguelito Valdez on June 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not familiar with Johnny Diaz but after reading this work will read all of his books. His descrption of Gabrielito's family ties, the bittersweet burden of his father's illness, and the job of being a bridge between his divorced parents...all spoke loudly to me. I also grew to care for Gabriel as he sought true love in his thirties, a tough accomplishment. This work touched me and I won't soon forget it. I will read Diaz' columns as well now that I know about this author writing for a newspaper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elisa on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was a very nice read, but it was not really a romance... or better it was more different romances in one story. It's basically the life of Gabriel Galan, Cuban-American college professor who is now living in Boston; when the story starts he is single, but he has one important relationship in his life, the one with Nick, his buddy-friend. That between Gabriel and Nick is not a sexual bond, they really care for each other, and even when Gabriel is in a love relationship, he still hangs out with Nick and confides with him all his dreams and desire; I don't see it coming that Gabriel will ever break this bond, no matter what happens in their life.

Second important relationship is that with his family; even if they live in Florida, Gabriel has a very tight bond with his parents, he calls them every night and he saves money to fly down as much as possible. I really like that there was no tension between them, even if, actually, Gabriel's parents never acknowledge his homosexuality, simply saying, go out with your friends and be happy. I think that was very right with their Latin upbringing, you love deeply your family, but it can be difficult to accept your son is gay. In any case it was only a feeling, there was really nothing that let me believe Gabriel's parents were not supportive of him, and Gabriel for sure loved them very much.

Finally there is the love relationships; Gabriel finds a boyfriend, one of his former college student, but I had the feeling he was not the one. Gabriel is not comfortable with him, always worrying about their difference in age and expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greek Reader on October 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall I liked this book.

I came to it via the "Customers who bought this..." from a number of m/m romance books. However, I wouldn't call it a romance, but rather the description of certain rites of passage as we move into our later thirties. Our parents get older or sick and need our help (though they might not want it), we're no longer the younger ones at work or in clubs, we see others living the lives we thought we'd have and we wonder - if only for a moment - if we've settled for less, we still make mistakes in choosing lovers or friends. And yet, we still enjoy stupid jokes, and dancing, and we still have the courage to try again when we've been burned.

Diaz uses first person/present tense throughout the book, and, in my opinion, does it particularly well, making me feel as if I'm in Gabriel's head, seeing and hearing the same things he does and living his life. The only problem I have with this choice is that in a longer story, such as this, I find it hard to stay there, when I know Gabriel is ignoring something or making a bad choice. It's not that I don't understand why he does so or that I might not have done the exact same thing in his situation, but I found it hard "being" him and disagreeing with him at the same time, and that interrupted both my engagement in the story and my pleasure in it on several different occasions. Which is why finally I'm giving it three rather than four stars.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John in Newton on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Johnny's earlier books (Boston Boys Club, Beantown Cubans, and Miami Manhunt) were really great fun reading. This latest book, Take the Lead, keeps the recurrent themes of the previous 3 books (friendship, family and the search for 'the one'). But this book adds another element: caring for an aging parent with a debilitating disease who lives far away.

I liked the main character, Gabriel, for his intelligence, love for family, and the capacity to explore relationships with two of the other main characters. I don't want to give away one of the story lines so that is all I will say about that! If you are a Bostonian like I am or you have lived here for a while, Johnny's narrative will remind you of just why people love this city. If you've never been to Boston, read this book and I bet you will want to make a trip here soon.

Thanks Johnny, for yet another great book. I highly recommend it and the other 3 books as hot vacation page-turners. I am already wondering about the next book! And maybe a mini-series? Gracias.

John Brennan
Newton, MA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AlexsDad on November 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this and Johnny's other fiction books. They are set in Boston, which I can relate to. If you're looking for light, entertaining books, this one fits that bill. There are familiar themes with the characters and their backgrounds in this and his other books. People are generally encouraged to write "what they know," and that seems to be what Johnny does. I look foward to more books from Johnny.
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More About the Author

Johnny Diaz is a features reporter at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Prior to that, he was a media reporter for The Boston Globe's Business section, where he covered TV news, radio, print and advertising. Johnny was also a features writer for The Globe's Living/Arts section for three years.
Before that he was a general assignment Metro reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Miami Herald. As a reporter there, he shared in the 2000 Pulitzer award coverage of the federal seizure of Elian Gonzalez and the chaos that erupted in Miami afterwards. Johnny is the author of Boston Boys Club, Miami Manhunt, Beantown Cubans and Take the Lead. The Spanish version of Take the Lead is called "Tomar La Iniciativa." Johnny's fifth novel, "Looking for Providence," is set in Rhode Island. That book will be released May 2014.

Readers can visit his website: www.beantowncuban.com

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