elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase

Changing Jamie is a Young Adult novel that has a lot to teach also to young adult is no more. It faces an issue, HIV in teenagers that I think most people prefer to ignore since it’s an ugly side of life; moreover, it unveils a practice, that among the bug-chasers and the gift givers that only to think about it make me shiver: underage kids have unprotected sex with HIV-positive men with the exact intent to be infected; of course these kids are depressed, or traumatized, and with a low-level of self-esteem; they probably believe no one loves them, and they believe probably they would be accepted at least by whom has their same illness. Thinking that such practice is described in a Young Adult novel is scaring, but it’s done in a way that wants to teach those kids that is not the way to be loved or accepted, it’s only a way to destroy your life forever, even more than what you believe is in that moment.

The bug-chaser is Billy and as a counterpart the story is told by Jamie, that is, more or less, a very ordinary teenager; Jamie is gay but he is not out; of course he has a crush on the most popular guy at school and of course he has the chance to tutor him, so that they finally exchange more than few words at once. Jamie’s story is sweet and romantic, a first love story with an happily for now end that will make you smile even if, just some pages before you were wondering on the inconsiderate act Billy did, maybe only since his parents were not enough worried of their son’s future.

There is a little bit of the usual routine about gay teenagers in high school, bullied kids and all, but that is not the main theme; for once, and as it should be, the school is mostly accepting, more even supporting, and Jamie and Dylan (Jamie’s dream date) have also the support of the respective families. On the family level, there are also three different approaches on being parents: the indifference of Billy’s parents, the supportiveness of Jamie’s mother and in the end, the lost chance’s attitude of Dylan’s father, who would like something different for his son, but than in the end will accept what his son wants.

All in all, Changing Jamie was a surprisingly balanced novel; it’s not cute or pretty, but it’s not even as sad as it could have slipped due to the matter.


Amazon: Changing Jamie
Amazon Kindle: Changing Jamie
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Prizm Books (June 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603703519
ISBN-13: 978-1603703512

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: dakota chase, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: coming of age

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