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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The first day of the last month of the year. 
1st-Dec-2005 02:42 pm
Siesta
Good Lord, it seems like only yesterday that I was filling out that New Year's meme from velvetpaws! This year has gone by so quickly. I wish I had more to show for it. *sighs*

You know, I didn't think this book would be good, by oh boy was I wrong! I've gotta see if I can get my hands on The Brothers Bishop, Yates's second novel now.

Yates, Bart. Leave Myself Behind. 2003. New York: Kensington, 2004.
Summary: Noah and his poet mother move to New Hampshire from Chicago in the wake of his father's death. While renovating their new home, they discover fragments of the previous owners' past lives. Now Noah, already dealing with the trials and tribulations of being gay and in a committed relationship with another boy, must deal with the previous owners', his mother's, and J.D.'s mother's pasts--intersections of love and violence. At least the love, in spite of gay bashing, dead babies in the basement, and Virginia's emotional breakdown, wins in the end.
Comments: Yates himself, through Noah's voice, describes the theme of his debut novel: Sex fucks things up. And, indeed, Donna sees her rapist whenever she looks at J.D. Nellie refuses to give up her baby, who she conceived under mysterious circumstances, and it causes friction between her and her new husband Carlisle, their argument leading to the baby's death and then to Nellie's, from despair. Noah's mother Virginia, raped and impregnated by her father when she was twelve, finds that Nellie's unfolding story from the walls of their home unearths unbearable memories. I guess there's a sort of indirect moral/warning in the story in that who you choose to sleep with can be so dangerous. *shrugs* The theme by itself wasn't so amazing...but what WAS quite impressive was Yates' prose itself. Noah and his foul mouth come alive, and many of the things he says are genuinely laugh-aloud funny. You really do feel for the kid as he dials back and forth between the present and the past, trying to understand himself and the world. His romance with J.D., though idealized, also seems very real, and you can't help feeling happy for them, despite the gay bashing, that the found each other. Though not strictly and young adult novel, and it DOES have some brief sex scenes, particularly in the beginning, I would recommend this book as a quintessential growing-up novel for teens. The language and storyline are most accessible, and the way it treats relationships with parents, friends, classmates, and lovers will surely please a young reader. It's also a profoundly romantic story about first love--a love that comes alive with a vitality that puts Boy Meets Boy to shame. Highly recommended in any case. Maybe this novel is a sign that Kensington is making real effort to up the literary quality of their gay novels. I sure hope so.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st printing
Rating: 7.5/10 - Will undoubtedly please, especially if you like mysteries, but Noah is nonetheless a most lovable character who will stay with you long past the last page.
Comments 
1st-Dec-2005 09:45 pm (UTC)
So I gather it has a happy ending? No death of gay characters or hopelessly unrequited love?^^ I'm really sick of those.
1st-Dec-2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yep. It's a happy ending (inasmuch as age 17 is EVER a happy ending of any sort). ^_^

I think you'd really like this one, Ariss. It's extremely romantic, but there's enough genuine conflict to prevent it from being trite.
1st-Dec-2005 10:46 pm (UTC)
It's too bad I didn't see this earlier or I would have added it to my amazon order.
1st-Dec-2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
You can't add it? Did your previous order ship yet? (I seem to recall Amazon having some function to that effect.)

Well, it's something to keep in mind for the future. ^_^ After all, there's always something else to read. ^_~
1st-Dec-2005 11:21 pm (UTC)
It's "shipping soon" unfortunately. Oh well, I was going to order it from the UK site. Less attention on packages coming from the UK^_~
1st-Dec-2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
*grins* Well, as you can see, the cover of this book is most tasteful. (I also thought it was very pretty...doncha think? ^_^ ) In fact, I couldn't even tell from online summaries, at first, whether or not it was gay fiction, so no worries on that account. ^_~
2nd-Dec-2005 01:06 am (UTC)
Good. Luck is on my side for once^^
2nd-Dec-2005 01:00 am (UTC)
*sighs*

I don't think 17 and happy ending should be together in the same sentence, just from what I remember of being 17 ^^;;
2nd-Dec-2005 01:04 am (UTC)
*grins*
Mine wasn't so great either^_~
2nd-Dec-2005 01:20 am (UTC)
*sighs*

And to think, some people actually enjoyed their teen years.... Me, I feel sorry for most teenagers I meet, and dodge high school reunions ^^;;
2nd-Dec-2005 01:44 am (UTC)
Maybe it's just wishful thinking on the author's part.
2nd-Dec-2005 01:56 am (UTC)
Probably.... I do remember thinking wishfully at that age, so a happy ending, even fictitious, is nice to see ^_^;
2nd-Dec-2005 03:04 am (UTC)
Well, as they say, we really only understand the good in contrast. I suppose the people who are most appreciative of happy endings are people who don't have them. ^^;
3rd-Dec-2005 01:31 am (UTC)
*laughs*
I shudder to think what that says about me^_^
3rd-Dec-2005 01:50 am (UTC)
We just have to be careful that you don't decide to go wild and live it up after escaping from your parents. ^_~
3rd-Dec-2005 02:00 am (UTC)
No worries about that. It's not only my parents, I'm boring because I'm too sensible^^
3rd-Dec-2005 03:30 am (UTC)
That sensibility might just be a defense mechanism. ^_~ If you've never been given freedom before, you don't know how you'll use it.
2nd-Dec-2005 12:00 am (UTC) - Doujinshi Question
Have you heard of this artist? The doujins are goregous^_^

Link: http://www.livejournal.com/users/galerian_ash/18798.html?view=129390#t129390
2nd-Dec-2005 12:03 am (UTC) - Re: Doujinshi Question
Not offhand, no. The style reminds me a bit of Takaboshi Asato.
2nd-Dec-2005 01:04 am (UTC) - Re: Doujinshi Question
That's too bad. I really like the art and level of detail here.
2nd-Dec-2005 01:42 am (UTC) - Re: Doujinshi Question
I don't THINK the artist is professional, but I can't be 100% certain.
3rd-Dec-2005 01:32 am (UTC) - Re: Doujinshi Question
Really? It looks very polished though.
3rd-Dec-2005 01:51 am (UTC) - Re: Doujinshi Question
Doesn't mean anything. ^^;; There are a TON of really good artists een at the amateur level. Many do eventually go pro in some form, but some choose not to.
2nd-Dec-2005 01:43 am (UTC)
I'm the other way round...recently read and adored The Brothers Bishop now eagerly looking for Leave Myself Behind. TBB is an incredible tale of brotherly love...though not exactly happy I must say.
1st-Jan-2006 04:09 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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