- File Size: 4208 KB
- Print Length: 88 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 16, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B016B3WFZM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Diamonds (Life According to Maps Book 2) Kindle Edition
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It has been many years since I was in my teens and slowly coming to terms with my gayness - without any help from a great book like the MAPS series. Reading the MAPS Omnibus in the 1960s would have made my life (and my feelings about myself) much, much more pleasant and fun.
As it is, MAPS allows me to ethically revisit my teen years and all of the mistakes I made - a few of which Maps (the nickname for the main character Mattie) also makes - only 2 generations later. I totally am crazy about Maps, his best [straight but not narrow] friend Benji, Lane (Maps' first and only gay romantic interest), Lane's baby sister Stacie (who, in her own weird way, helps bring Maps and Lane together), Maps' flamboyant friend from work (who first appears in this 2nd volume) and even both Maps' and Lane's parents - especially Maps' dad who is so very much unlike the stereotypical "Dad" in the usual run-of-the-mill gay YA coming out stories.
I've now read this complete series 5 or 6 times and I get something new and enjoyable out of it each time I read it. The dialog is perfect for teens in the ca. 2015-2020 time frame; the book is hilarious in parts (maybe not quite the ROFL kind of hilarious as "The Epic Love Story of of Doug and Stephen" by the late Valerie Lewis but almost - e.g., the "You Leave Me, I Leaf You!" scene between Maps and Benji in the final part of the book); plus the ALMOST complete lack of angst as the relationship between Maps and Lane grows - and grows on the reader.
While there are some great "making out" scenes, there is little mention of sex between the two main characters thereby making this a perfect book for younger and [perhaps] "questioning" teens and pre-teens (say ages 11 to 18). But, unlike most books in that genre, this is one that reminiscing adults - like myself - can really get a kick out of as well. The book, the characters, the scene-making and the dialog are just so perfect that this story could really be made into a truly great movie. I hope to see that happen!
I still have to ding this for editing issues, missing words, questionable situations, and one that I have to call out specifically. Lane's eye color is called out frequently, referred to as "pear colored" (which is kind of it's own issue for me, but I'll let that go as a personal thing) and yet there's a line where Maps says that Lane's eyes were the kind of eyes that made you wonder if the ocean really was that BLUE. I'm sorry. What? If his eyes are green what could that possibly have to do witj the ocean being blue? This is a running problem in all the books I have read by this author, and it makes me irritated because there's a definite lack of editing that absolutely affects her books, which is disappointing.
Having said that, I still found this sweet and endearing, and something I'd read again because of the characters alone. Not as good as the first, but good.
So we have Matthew “Maps” Wilson, teen genius, who is still a little boy at heart, but at sixteen has finally discovered feelings that confuse him. And there’s his lifelong sidekick Benji, who clearly loves Maps but also understands that he’s not remotely normal. And finally, there’s Lane Rhodes, the big lunk of a baseball player who is startled, but not intimidated, by his unexpected feelings for a boy when before it’s all been about girls.
If you remember your teen years, it was all about misunderstandings, jumping to conclusions, simmering emotions, and general stupidity caused by stirring hormones. Well, Nash Summers hits that nail on the head; but she does it with real humor and sympathy, right down to Maps’ irritated parents who nonetheless support and love him in his adolescent angst.
What is really romantic about this book is that is assumes a world that ought to be: a world where homophobia and bullying are mild and easily surmounted; a world where jocks in love are brave enough to admit that they might be queer for another boy, and where parents don’t freak out about their children being gay. It’s an idealized world, but not an impossible one.
So I don’t know if Nash Summers plans to carry on with Lane and Maps; but I sort of hope so.
Top international reviews
If you're thinking of picking up this series, first: do it. Second: do not start with this book. You want to read them in order to get a full sense of who Maps who is.
I love this series. It's adorable, and yet so real.