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Homo (Lorimer SideStreets) Hardcover – September 12, 2012

2.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After Will is outed on Facebook, he dreams of leaving Chilliwack, his tiny Canadian hometown, for a new life in Vancouver with Riley, an older man whom he has met online. In the meantime, life goes on as usual in Chilliwack. Will hangs out with his longtime friend Julie and with Daniel, the only other gay teen who is out at Spencer High. While Will finds grudging acceptance, Daniel, who is flamboyantly gay, has a harder time of it and is subjected to taunts and physical abuse until he does something desperate. There aren’t many surprises in Harris’ gay coming-of-age novel, and there are some stereotypical situations and characters. Still, Will, who is initially solipsistic and faux cynical, grows emotionally and, by the book’s end, has matured into a significantly more likable character, while his relationship with Riley is handled realistically, and its denouement is believable. A volume in Lorimer’s Side Streets series, Homo is a quick and—aside from its unfortunate title—satisfying read. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"Harris's unflinching candor gives his novel credibility, substance and even the power to potentially change lives." (Greg Armstrong-Morris Xtra)

"Harris offers queer youth an example of post-AIDS gay life, as well as a warning against taking that history too lightly." (Quill & Quire)

"Harris' book is a gritty and harrowing, but ultimately uplifting and reassuring story... Will, Daniel and Julie are deep characters, full of life and complexity."

(Rob Bittner Keen Readers 2012-11-05)

"Harris' work swiftly explores coming out and gay culture in an unflinching way that may be refreshing to readers..." (Kirkus Reviews 2013-02-01)

"Homo will be an important book for gay and straight students alike. Although it is written for struggling readers at a 4.3 grade level, the issues it raises are critical and worthy of serious consideration by all older teenagers." Highly Recommended

(Joan Marshall CM: Canadian Review of Materials 2012-12-07)

"Homo is essentially a story about a gay teenager learning to become comfortable with himself and to be more accepting of others." (Heather Milne Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 5.1 2013-08-01)

"[Will's relationship with Riley is handled realistically, and its denouement is believeable...a quick and satisfying read." (Michael Cart Booklist (U.S.) 2013-03-15)

"Homo is a story about growing up that will strike a chord with many readers, gay or straight... Harris's writing is strong and adept; he ensures readability for the struggling reader without compromising the content of the story or quality of his prose. His writing is stark and realistic... Homo is an excellent choice for any library" (Kimberley Bewick Resource Links 2013-02-01)

"a raw, believable story of a young man who experiences too many elements of life too quickly, not taking time to think about the impact that each will have on his life. His journey is dark and dangerous, but he forges on, kind of figuring it out as he goes. This is an important story, one that needs to be told and one that needs to be experienced not only by teens who are struggling with their sexual identity but also by those in the straight community who need to find out how to lovingly support these young people in their journey." (Elizabeth Howard, Librarian, Whites Creek High School 2013-03-19)
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Product Details

  • Series: Lorimer SideStreets
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: James Lorimer (September 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459401921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459401921
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,437,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have to say, I sort of hated this book.

While the story was interesting, I hated, HATED, the main character. He is a odious person. I don't think I have ever read about a more self-involved, narcissistic character. He is a total dick to his poor parents (without a shred of remorse), is a total douche to his best friends, and only thinks about himself. I can't even count the number of times he said he zoned out when someone else was talking. I loathed him.

On to the plot. Basically this book is about a gay 17 year old guy in Canada who wants out of his small town life. He ventures into the world of online dating and discovers the Vancouver gay scene. What I liked about the story was that it wasn't romanticized at all. For example, when he has sex for the first time, he is afraid to look at the condom in case it is dirty. That you don't see in many M/M books, folks. For those types of moments alone I gave this book the second star. But what I didn't like about the plot is that it is riddled, and I mean riddled, with gay stereotypes. It was just painful to read at times and it made the book seem really dated.

I still can't get over how much I hated Will. When he didn't talk to Daniel on the phone when he was crying after those boys attacked him, I wanted to punch Will in the face. The way he ignored Julie when she was talking about her alcoholic father, and the way he blamed everything on his parents (who were very cool BTW. I wanted to kiss his mom when she told him that she herself watches porn)... I just grew to hate Will more and more. If the writer wanted a bigger reading base, he should have made a character less sociopathic.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, and for very different reasons that I ever expected too. I didn't know anything about this book going in, and in a way I'm glad. I started reading without any sort of expectations, or notions about what this book should be or where it was going to go.

I many ways Will is far from a perfect characters. He is selfish, cold, distant, uncaring, judgmental, and unsupportive. He pushes his family away, and is pretty horrible to his friends. He becomes involved with an older man who introduces him to hard drugs, and sex. Will's feelings toward this man are pretty mixed, and he understands that he is being used, but fails to end it. He, in short, is a teenager, and it was nice to read such a honest story about the mess those years can be. Will isn't a bad person, but he is making some bad choices in his life. He is so wrapped up in how hard things are for him he fails to see how difficult things are for others, and in the end he is forced to see who his actions, and lack of action have real consequences both in his life, and the lives of others. He learns some hard lessons, and comes out a changed person in the end.

I think too often high school stories are this idealized world where the love you have at 16 lasts forever, and sex is always perfect (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it's nice to see the challenges many kids face addressed in a more honest fashion. I think characters like Will encourage us to look at look at ourselves, and our own actions much more so that any sort of too perfect high school student from another story might.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow. 144 pages of gay stereotypes. The gay kids get bullied at school and at a party. They almost don't get invited because the hosts are Christians who hate gays. One of the gay kids attempts suicide. The other one hooks up with a random guy who he later learns is HIV positive. The HIV positive dude tells the teen, "Don't look for a deep, long-lasting relationship. Hookups are all we get."

The message I got from this book is that gay guys should not "act gay" so they won't be bullied and that they should accept a sub-par existence because that's all they'll ever have. How depressing.

I am glad I got this book on the Kindle so I can't donate it to the library, because I wouldn't want anyone to read this.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley for the purposes of review.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be depressing. Will is a high school senior in a small town where the only other homosexual boy at his school, Daniel, is picked on relentlessly. Will looks online for a boyfriend and finds an older man in a nearby city. In the meantime, he is not a good friend to Julie and Daniel, his only friends, he lets his grades slip and he lies to his parents. The older man he met online gives him drugs and only after they have sex, with a condom at least, does he tell Will that he is HIV positive.
Then there are some websites listed in the author's note at the end of the book that are support networks for queer teens, which is probably good because if they were not depressed before they read this book, they may be by the time they finish it.
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