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Don't Let Me Go Paperback – January 1, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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"Trumble's debut is a deeply moving and in-depth look at the perils and anxieties of being gay in high school . . . Layered with the gritty everyday details of teen existence . . . ." -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"This high-school-set story richly and smartly captures the thrilling highs and the devastating lows of a first love between two young men who deal with far more than the typical dramas in an average teenager's life." -Instinct Magazine
"It has been quite some time since gay literature has seen the likes of a character as genuine as Nate Schaper, the irritatingly lovable narrator of J.H. Trumble's highly engaging debut novel, Don't Let Me Go." -Christopher Verleger, contributor, Edge on the Net.
"This is a great addition to GLBTQ collections, and a good read for those teens looking for a gay love story that explores a relationship in the same way that straight love stories do." -School Library Journal
"Trumble excels at putting the reader inside the mind of a gay young man living in a largely unaccepting community. The emotion brought to this work is its strength. . . . A discussion guide follows the story, providing insightful questions that could lead to very deep class discussion." -VOYA
From the Author
A Lambda Literary Awards finalist.
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This book was marketed as adult, but I'd say it's pretty damn fine YA. I'd put this up there with John Green and David Levithan. YES. REALLY.
First off, I couldn't put it down. Seriously. I read on my phone, I read at the gym -- WHILE RUNNING, people -- I read in the car (while someone else was driving), I read any chance I could get.
The romance? Amazing. The characters? Amazing. The whole story was just beautiful and fulfilling and ... seriously, I just want to hug Nate.
You know how sometimes you read books and you want to shake people and say, "You need to read this book!!"? This is that book. This book made me want to be a better writer.
There is some sexuality and language in this book (no explicit sex, but a few occasional explicit references to sex), but everything suited the story perfectly, and everything was true to each character.
I know some reviews mentioned that they had a problem with the time line. The story is told in alternating periods of current time and flashbacks, but I thought it was exactly what the story needed. It was very reminiscent of the narrative style of Barry Lyga's Boy Toy.
Seriously. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
Well after reading the entire story there were 2 major moments where Nate and Adam could have ended the relationship for good. But in both cases one of them refused to let go, and did whatever they needed to do within their power to hold on to each other.
2. Don’t Let Me Go depends on flashbacks to develop the early relationship between Nate and Adam. How might the feeling of the novel differ if the story unfolded in chronological order?
Had the story been told in chronological order, it would have been easier to follow. I absolutely hate when authors start you off at a certain point in a characters life, then jumps all the back to the past just to bring you to that point again.
3. How does Nate’s assault affect his relationship with Adam? With his mom? His dad? Juliet? How might these relationships have evolved differently if the assault had never happened?
Hmmm...that's hard to answer because Nate's dad probably would have acted the same way had the assault not happened.
It definitely made Nate and Adam's relationship stronger, as well as his friendship with Juliet.
And Danial was a bonus!
The assault scared the hell out of his mom, but had the assault not happened she still would fear for him because let's face it, cowards are always looking for easy prey. And unfortunately those who are gay can sometimes be easy prey due to the lack of family or friends support.
4. Adam’s Christmas gift to Nate (the Yang) suggests that they are two parts of a whole. Do you believe this is a healthy attitude toward a relationship? Why or why not?
Awe! That was a sweet moment. And I absolutely believe that is a healthy way to treat your relationship. Why wouldn't it be? What would be the point in starting a relationship with someone with the belief it won't work out? People take precautions of course (prenup) but symbolizing your love to your partner the way Adam did was beautiful.
5. Nate says that “even heroes grow weary lugging around the burdens of their heroism.” Do you believe this is true? Can you think of any examples to illustrate that statement?
Being a hero could mean you're a person always trying to save someone else. By doing that, you forget to take care of yourself. There comes a point when you burn out. You can only do so much for everyone else before you need to take time to save yourself.
6. Adam explains that his dragon tattoo is his way of taking control of his body. In what other ways do teens assert their independence? In what ways did you assert your independence as a teenager?
Hmmm...I honestly can't remember how I strode for my independence as a teen. Haha, I was a good girl. Stayed out of trouble and did what I was told.lol Boring!!!
Now a days though, it could be the way a teen dresses, wear their hair, their makeup, the groups at school or online that they join, getting an after school job etc. or dating someone their parents do not approve of!
I have a few more years before my son and daughter exude their independence. Thank goodness.lol
7. Do you believe that Nate and Danial’s friendship is realistic? Has their relationship affected the way you regard friendships between gays and straights of the same gender?
Because it's rarely seen, it could seem unrealistic. But even when I was in high school we knew who the gay guys were and it really wasn't that big a deal to see a straight football player be friends with the gay drama club kid. So, for me its not new or unusual to see. But once I made my way out into the world it was a shock to see how many straight men were cowards when it came to gay men.
8. Discuss the similarities and differences between Nate’s relationships with Adam and Luke. What are his roles in each, and how do you think the experiences influence each other?
Nate was deeply in love with Adam and Adam was Nate's anchor to life, his first love, his first everything. Luke thought he was in love with Nate, Nate was Luke's anchor, and his first. But as much as Nate cared about Luke, his love for Adam was real and incredibly strong.
This was a lovely coming of age, making mistakes, falling in love, falling in love again type of tale.
The importance of closure helps you move on in a way where you won't continue to hold on to fear, or doubt, or self loathing. Nate needed to ensure Luke survived the hell he was in because Nate went through the same thing with the assault. I'm grateful the author decided to give us readers closure to what happened to Nate and Adam, Luke, Juliet and Danial.
And everyone should be fortunate enough to have a friend like Danial in their life.
This is a story for all Gay and Lesbian and transsexuals to read. It is about love and loss and hate and finding out whop you are in this difficult part of your life. As if being a teenager was not bad enough add on to it that you are gay and are scared to death to come out because you don't know what is going to happen. Nate has always known he is gay and he just wants to get through high school and get to college where he can meet a nice boy to date. Where he can be free to be himself and act how he wants and not have to worry about his family and friends condemning him.
Only Nate gets a surprise when he meets another boy Adam at his school. Adam is a senior and he is best friends with Jules who is in love with Nate. They start hanging out together and before you know it Adam tells Nate he likes him. As the two discover their mutual feelings for one another they have to make a decision on whether or not they will come out of the closet or stay in there. They decide to come out of the closet and have an open relationship and it costs them. One of them will be brutally attacked and the other will be left to pick up the pieces and try and keep their relationship together.
After this tragedy that has happened Nate and Adam are even closer. They are Ying and Yang. Soon though there relationship will be tested and tried and one of them will experience life differently than the other. See Adam is going to New York and Nate has given him his blessing. Even though Nate does not want Adam to leave he will let him leave so he can find his way in life and Nate wants Adam to have everything. Nate does not want to hold Adam back because he does not want Adam to look back and say you held me back from pursuing my dreams. So Nate lets Adam go to New York and Adam promises to come back for holidays.
Nate still being in high school misses Adam so much. They went from spending everyday together to only phone calls at first and then skypeing and then nothing. Something changes for Adam and Nate is left wondering what is going on. Then Nate meets Daniel at the music store and they quickly become friends. Daniel has a secret of his own and starts to hang out with Nate even though everyone thinks they are dating they are just friends. They become best friends and that shocks Nate because being gay means you can't have any boys that are friends because it means you want them in a sexual way. Such small mindedness on the account of the guys because gay does not mean they want every guy.
So Nate and Daniel become quick friends and Daniel helps Nate start a blog to vent his frustration of being gay and being separated from Adam. At first it is innocent and then Nate encourages other people who are gay or lesbian to come out of the closet and be who they want to be with no worries. That is when Nate meets one of his blog followers and they get close. Nate encourages him to be open with his sexuality preference. As this other boy learns to come out of the closet he and Nate start dating and Nate realizes what it is like to be the other boy because he was just like him until Adam showed him how to live life as he wanted to. As Nate and this other boy start hanging out and testing the boundaries Nate has to come to grips with what his relationship with Adam really is.
There are so many twists and turns in this story that even as I write this review I am crying. Nate and Adam have to come to terms with what has happened between the two of them. Adam will have to truly dig deep and see what it is he wants out of Nate. Nate will find himself and he will learn to stand up on his own with no one to help. Nate will find a friendship that means a lot to him and he will experience love outside of Adam that scares him.
Don't Let Me Go causes you to look at love and relationships in a new light. How is it that you love someone so much you put your whole life on hold for them? How is it that a new relationship can open your eyes and make you see what you had in front of you may have been a lie. J.H. has done a EPIC job with this story. I love Nate, Adam, Luke, Daniel, and Jules!
Most recent customer reviews
To be honest, at one point I was hoping the main character would get a good hard slap.