Horn Book

High school junior David Dahlgren opens his story by comparing himself and his girlfriend Kick to the famous comic-book couple Archie and Veronica; he worries that their relationship is "two-dimensional." His attraction to his teammate and new friend Sean provides an explanation. 

When it turns out that the attraction is mutual, the boys begin a furtive sexual relationship, but David becomes increasingly conflicted as the secrecy and Sean's denials of his homosexuality begin to weigh on him. He questions how much longer he can go on lying to those around him and whether his relationship with Sean will ever evolve into something more meaningful. David's initial cluelessness about being gay and the absence of any social networking (such as Facebook) seem somewhat dated, but these are minor quibbles. Bantle's writing is crisp and spare, with no sentimentality or long-winded introspection; his second novel is a refreshing contribution to the "coming out" genre and a powerful example of an honest teen voice.

- Michael santangelo

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