The three R´s of Summer

David Dahlgreen leads a pretty good life. He runs on the cross-country team, he does okay in school and there's even a girl in his life who likes him a lot. The only problem is that he has a crush on one of his cross country teammates, Sean. And the crazy thing is that Sean might like him back.

I absolutely adored this book. Once I started reading it, there was no stopping me. I squirmed all through my eight hours on the job waiting for the chance to pick it up again. From the first chapter I was hooked. The thing that kept me reading was David's voice in the book. He just sounded like this genuine, nice, confused, horny, sweet guy. It was very real. There was David jumping off the page and I just wanted to know more and more about him.

The book is fairly short so the plot moves along at a fast pace that I enjoyed. Sometimes I felt like the story was a series of vignettes of David's life because these cute, quirky things would happen to him that seemed like an aside to the main plot. I enjoyed that because David's story could get pretty dark. I was happy that Bantle was able to inject some happiness and fun into David's life despite all of the hurtful things that happened to him.

At the heart of this coming out story is a love story and it really rings true. What really drew me to David is how passionate he is about everything. His feelings were so familiar and it would be familiar to anyone who's ever had a first big crush whether they are straight or gay. I felt really connected to David as he struggled his way through everything and really began to accept the person he really wanted to be.

All of the characters featured in the story were distinctive and they all served a purpose. It was interesting that David's sort-of best friend Eddie is also gay. That really tied the book up in the end and makes the last page especially poignant. I really liked David's sort-of girlfriend Kick because she was cute and sassy but she definitely wasn't perfect and I liked how she handled David's situation. Sean, the perfect crush, is not the perfect boyfriend and I really identified with how his struggle was different from David's. The dialogue is really funny, one of my favorite parts of the novel. There is a lot of it so it really helps to move the story along.

The best part of the book is that David is such a boy. One of the aspects of being a boy is that he thinks about sex a lot. I think all of the sex in the book is tastefully done and it's sort of exciting because David is so excited about it. It's not graphic but it does gear this book towards older teens. It's an essential part of the story but it doesn't overtake the story at all.

This is a well-written, honest, funny, touching novel that's more than a coming-out story. It's a great book for anyone who has ever felt unsure about who they were and had the courage to really take a good look in the mirror and try to figure it out. There's a lot of emotion packed into this book and I dare you to read it and not feel something good. Check this book out today! Highly recommended.

 

The Three R´s of Summer

 

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