I read "David Inside Out" by Lee Bantle last night and this morning (I'm thinking that it was because it's quite a short book). Here is the blurb:
My mom can be confusing without even trying. If I tell her I have to do something because everyone is doing it, she says, just be yourself. She says people respect that. But what if you send fan mail to romance writers? And get teary-eyed at chick flicks? What if you still get spooked during thunderstorms? These are not things you want to share with others. Being yourself might make people reject you. People you desperately care about. Being yourself only works if you're basically cool. Which I'm not.
There's another problem with Mom's advice. How can you be yourself if you don't know who that is?
Before I start, I just want to say that I don't really understand this cover. I get that it's two guys but I don't understand who they are, where they are and what they're doing? I originally got halfway through this book but got sidetracked (too much work at the time). On to the review...
The protagonist of this book is David. He is the one who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. I like how David's confusion is clearly shown in this book. He fears becoming gay and outright like his best friend Eddie. Eddie has recently admitted he is gay and even tried to start an alliance at school. David tries to do a lot of things to suppress his sexual preference/sexual urges. He tries sticking with a girlfriend, looking at Playboy, distancing himself from Eddie and snapping a rubber band on his wrist when he has "gay" thoughts.
There are a few other characters who are of great importance to the story. Kick, David's girlfriend, is one such character. Kick wonders why David is so slow and blames herself. She is also the first person David admits he's gay too. It's hard on Kick and she takes a while to accept it. At one point she even seems to try to go on as normal with David.
Eddie is the character who becomes openly gay. He tries to start an alliance and writes to romance writers. David doesn't want to remain friends with him. Another main character is Sean. Sean sparks David's interest and it seems Sean may have feelings of his own. But it's never simple and with Sean having a girlfriend, David doesn't know what to do.
The last character I wish to mention is David's mom. She seems to be able to understand when there is something wrong with David and is generally a caring character. I really liked her and how accepting she is. The characters in general were quite well crafted. I would have liked the book to be a bit longer though so I could get to know the characters more.
This book is really short and easily kept me reading. The story was quite fast paced so I didn't have to wait around for something to happen. The only thing is, I didn't like that the story was over so soon after starting it. But that's my issue with short stories. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't.
The plot is really good. I think it portrayed a teenager struggling to come to terms with his sexuality quite well. I also liked the complication between Sean and David, and David and Eddie. The relationships made the book really interesting and I wanted to know what would happen in the end with David.
Overall, it is a very good but short read. However, I think it would be very useful and comforting for young men who aren't so certain about their own sexuality. But the book is more than that, it is also a great read for anyone. I'll warn you now, this book does have some sexual and graphic scenes. Nothing too awful but it's better you know now and make your choice.
Characters: 7/10 (more development would have been better)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 9/10