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Kamikaze Boys Paperback – March 5, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of alienation, adventure, and love that surrounded this decision, and has been putting pen to paper ever since.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468198149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468198140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,531,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jay Bell certainly wowed me with Something Like Summer, so when I heard he had written another romance novel I knew I had to have it. My only regret is not waiting to get the paperback so I could sit around in public with my pink (and clearly gay) book in hand. (Believe me, even if you're shy, after reading this book, you'll want to do the same!)

The storyline is not so heart-wrenching as Something Like Summer, but it certainly encompasses an understanding of love and romance that is unmatched in today's media. I couldn't help but hold my breath at parts, hoping that the two characters would come out okay in the end. I found myself falling in love with the characters and learning that their love should be replicated in the real world. It was refreshing to see that not only was this NOT a coming-out story, nor were the characters in any way ashamed of their sexuality, but that they used it to their advantage and would challenge anyone who stood in their way. Some parts are so cute you'll wish you could've come up with it yourself first! Then, of course there are some steamy parts that depict sex in the beautiful way that it should be. This story is sweet, moving, and just plain great and I fully recommend it to anyone who wants to experience the imaginative, beautiful romance that only Bell can come up with.

You will be inspired by the characters, Connor and David, to fight against all odds and apologize to no one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay. I know those who read book reviews hear this a lot but I REALLY did stay up until 4am this morning in order to finish KAMIKAZE BOYS. This wonderful love story was worth every lost minute of sleep.

Accomplished storyteller that he is, Jay Bell has taken many of the TIME-TESTED clichés of the coming of age/first love gay narrative: dysfunctional parents, middle-class school, self-loathing school bully, smooth-talking psychologist, adoring little brother, sassy big sister, nerdy best friend and - of course - our two heroes, the honor-roll loner David along with Connor, the intimidating older student with that mysterious scar on his face; Jay has taken these elements and totally "un-clichéd" them as he has woven them into a touching and truly realistic high school gay romance which begins early on in the novel when Connor unexpectedly rescues David from the school bully.

(Thankfully, Jay advances this love story WITHOUT any of the more recent and tiresome gay romance clichés about which I have complained in many a review: truncated, totally unrealistic pillow talk - "You! Bed! Now!" - being the most egregious of them).

KAMIKAZE BOYS isn't as deep nor as multi-layered as the author's earlier SOMETHING ABOUT SUMMER. And that's okay; frankly I was glad that I, in order to let my heart rate get back to normal, didn't have to momentarily put the book down quite so many times as I did with his previous novel.

Sure, there were some scary moments toward the end of the book when the two guys were forcibly separated from one another in seemingly cruel ways.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's Connor and David against the world - and I suppose it's too "advanced" for teenagers to read, but it sure captures the way teenagers think and how they see the world. I'd let my teenagers read this. Of course, they'd never talk to me about it afterwards...

The jock and the nerd - a classic set up - but it doesn't play out the way you expect, because whether they get together or not is beside the point. Although the build-up is very nicely done, it's how they fight to stay a couple in the face of a world that either doesn't care or disapproves that drives the story. The fact that they're gay isn't the main point either - with one crucial exception, it's more their youth and supposed inexperience that causes their troubles.

I love YA-ish books where the parents are important players, and Jay Bell delivers here. I love it even more that the parents are allowed to surprise us (and their children).

For a romance, it's surprisingly unsentimental. There's plenty of teen anger in this - and that's just about right.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's been interesting watching Jay Bell's writing career take off. I was first introduced to his work when Brent Hartinger reviewed his very first book "The Cat in the Cradle," and I've kept an eye on what he's been doing ever since. Bell has been most prolific, and I've enjoyed everything that he's written so far (whether it be fantasy or more realistic YA lit), to one degree or another.

"Something Like Summer" has been Jay's most popular book up to this point, but I think I actually prefer "Kamikaze Boys" over that one. Interesting, that this book covers many of the same themes as John Goode's "End of the Innocence" (which I had recently mentioned here), but it has a completely different feel... I found both Conner and David to be sympathetic and quite likable characters, but it's true enough that they make a couple of very poor choices throughout the course of the novel! Oh, the reader can completely relate to their actions, but the characters do end up paying the price for their behavior. (Though rest assured---I thought the ending was splendid.)

There's plenty of drama here to draw the reader into the story, and I think most of you would enjoy it. Recommended.
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