- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 9, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375836578
- ISBN-13: 978-0375836572
- List Price: $8.95
- I finished this book on Dec. 3
Anywho: in addition to having a great title, and am amazing cover, this book is in free verse. Fucking rad. It is poems from a huge variety of high school students. It is a dozen stories from all different points of views. It is song lyrics, anguished cries for help, and love letters.
The books starts and ends with a poem about a young gay couple: Daniel and Jed. These couples are mentioned throughout the book in other people's poems, and the book finishes with them as well in a poem that makes me all mushy inside. Some of the other poems include a girl who retaliates by wailing a bully in the schnoz with a lunch tray and another from the bully in question. There is a girl with an eating disorder, a lesbian musician with unrequited love. My favorite is the girl who writes all the amazing phrases on desks, lockers and walls and then the reaction from others. Some of the choice phrases: YOU ARE HAPPY EVEN IF YOU ARE AFRAID TO ADMIT IT, YOU ARE FOOLISH IN YOUR UNHAPPINESS, and the ever popular: YOU ARE IMPLICATED
I confess that I'm not entirely sure how one is supposed to read some of these poems, and I often found myself sort of singing them to myself in my head (yeah, I know that makes me sound like a wacko. whatever, I stand by it.) There are four sections and they give different points of view. If you really pay attention, or maybe take notes, you can figure out who everyone is and how they are related. That is very cool, but even separate, each character is interesting.
Did I mention that I saw Mr. Levithan speak once and I thought he was dreamy? (Maybe I do think all intelligent gay men are dreamy, but that doesn't make him any less so.) Either way, this didn't disappoint and I can't wait to read more of his stuff.
I wouldn't suggest this for just anyone, but I am sad for those who wouldn't appreciate it. It is honest, sad, sweet, hopeful and beautiful.