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Someone Is Watching (Gay Youth Chronicles) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 288 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Roeder successfully created a breath taking novel which you never can expect what will happen next and you will just keep on reading it until the end of the page. At first I don't really like stories about boy overcoming their sexualities, however "Someone is watching" is much more different then those out there, you will bring yourself into the story and wanted to help Ethan and the others out. It was extremely relatable.
The main story line of the novel itself is really outstanding, however the friends around the Ethan seem to have a lot more to talk about, which you really wanted to know more about the others, like Nathan's life, and the best I like Mark and Taylor's, their stories helped the development of the whole novel, it helps to bring out the real emotions in you and made the story even richer. Roeder have a strong strength in creating side characters which have done an amazing work in supporting Ethan's story. They could possibly hold their own story itself and also made a successfully novel.
You will love the book once you hold it in your hand. trust me.
Let's face it: 17 year-olds in 1999 are ready to go at it like animals, not sit around and get kissy-faced for an hour. I'm not saying that the book's got to get real explicit, but I think there's a way to balance sex and romance in a story like this in a way that can be both realistic and yet also sensitive.
I also felt the language was a bit stilted in spots. Maybe I'm reacting too much on how I hear kids talk on TV, but the high school teens in Roeder's book just don't speak casually enough -- especially for rural Indiana. I also felt that the characters' dialog didn't delineate their personalities sharply enough. There's also two surprise deaths in about the middle of the book that I thought were handled poorly, because the author chose to deal with them in the past tense. If we had actively participated in the scene, I think it would have had a lot more impact.
That having been said: the mystery in the book is engaging, and the angst of the characters involved -- despite being overblown in spots -- is often entertaining. I enjoyed the book enough to recommend it, but with reservations.
Small literary side-comment: I was dismayed to find several annoying typos, and the slightly-amateurish printing and binding quality was a little disappointing.
The important thing is that at least books like these are being done, and maybe they'll reassure kids out there that yes, it's OK to be different. Kudos to the author for his messages of tolerance and understanding.
Others have criticized this book for repeating some themes over and over but I found this very realistic. Having grown up in a small Midwest town where most of the school athletes were also farmers I found this book to be very accurate. Having the same fears over and over was quite common. At the time these differences between myself and the other boys seemed overwhelmingly large and I only wish I'd had the courage to handle them as well as Ethan does. Perhaps I needed a better writer...
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