- File Size: 1157 KB
- Print Length: 200 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 11, 2015)
- Publication Date: March 11, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00TY4L1H4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,578 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$6.99|
|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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After School Activities Kindle Edition
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|Length: 200 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Disclosure: I bought this book entirely because of the redhead on the cover, who represents the main character, Dylan O’Connor. I have a profound thing for redheads and this cover is simply beautiful.
However, I gave this book five stars because of the exceptionally smart, funny writing and the sparkling characterizations that fill the book with life. It was a joy to read, making me laugh out loud and also making me tear up with emotion.
Dylan O’Connor and Adam Anderson have been enemies since elementary school, especially since fifth grade, when Adam made Dylan cry nearly every day.
As high school loomed, Dylan came out to his parents and decided the only way to defend himself from the constant homophobic onslaught of Adam and his posse was to fight back—with words. Adam and Dylan’s back-and-forth over the years has become legend, and has gotten them sent to the principal’s office countless times.
Then, in junior year, Dylan realizes that his long-term enmity with Adam might in fact have been masking something else.
What Hunter does brilliantly is to sidestep our expectations. Imagine a school where your best friends can intuit your every mood and read you like a book. Imagine a school where the most beautiful and popular kids (Charlotte and James) are also the nicest and most compassionate people in school. Imagine a world where the protagonist’s parents are funny, loving and entirely cool.
Imagine a world where your life-long best friend suddenly decides he’s comfortable with the idea of getting physical with you, even though he’s mostly straight.
This is, strictly speaking, not young adult. Or, literally young adult and not intended for the middle-school age audience that “young adult” actually means. There is real, explicit sex in this book—and I hasten to add that it is used fiercely by the author to illustrate both the joyous horniness of teenagers, and the stark difference between sex-for-pleasure and sex-for-love.
This is also the first instance I have read of the phenomenon of a “mostly straight” guy; that is a young man who is really into girls, but being horny, self-confident in his sexuality, and profoundly fond of his gay best friend, is interested in exploring what gay sex might offer him.
I barely winced at all. I think I bought into it because of Hunter’s beautifully rendered characters, and the way he uses Malachi’s unexpected sexual curiosity to help Dylan realize the difference between emotion and hormones.
At the core of the book’s success is Dylan himself. He is a teenager, no question. He is self-centered and short-sighted; but he is also kind and caring. He hates lying and he doesn’t want to hurt people. He is a role model without being a goody-goody. He is also hilarious (to use a word that the author employs a lot) and embraces the strange role of GBFF (gay best friend forever) with flair and wit.
He is, in short, the way I wish I’d been as a teenager.
And then there’s the red hair. Sigh.
This conflict in of itself was really gripping, but I felt like everything happened so fast. I couldn't get a full picture of Kai and Dylan's initial relationship where Kai would be so comfortable having sex with his gay best friend. He does seem to be a really open person, and sexually liberated, which I'm all for, but when Dylan started wondering if he was in love with Kai--I just couldn't believe him. There are explicit sexual scenes in this novel, and it felt like he was in love with the sex, being with a hot guy than Kai himself. Then his relationship with Adam progresses rather quickly and they jump into their relationship fairly early on.
Another reviewer pointed out this story as being "unrealistic," and while I might not say that, I will say that sometimes it felt like a lot of things happened very easily. Getting involved with two guys, settling the awkwardness, talking to the principal and getting out of detention. I would have liked to see things get more complicated for Dylan, and for him to become a more 3D character. Maybe it's the voice, but I found Kai, Adam, even James, to be more "likeable" to me.
Nonetheless, it is a nice story. And while I might not emphatically recommend this book, there were some parts I really enjoyed and some characters I also liked. And if you're not opposed to sexual scenes, I think they were done quite well.
I checked Amazon because I wanted to find and buy more books by Dirk Hunter, but unfortunately there are none, at least not on Amazon.
The drama with Adam's mother was not handled for its full effect. Most kids don't recover well from that type of situation, just ask Madonna.
While I can see Tiffany helping the bros out at the end, her character needed a stronger relationship with both the guys to believably pull off the cafeteria scene. A food fight without a suspension or expulsion isn't realistic, either.
To think that Will and his ilk aren't planning revenge on Adam, isn't realistic.
Dylan's parents are some of the best parts of the book. They should have had more development to show how Dylan turned out as well as he did.