In many ways, Jason Peele is like any other teenager. He hits the books, hangs with his friends, flirts with girls, and omits the full truth of his life from his Aunt Audrey and Uncle Steve, who have raised him since his parents died. But there’s one way that Jason Peele is very different: when he dreams at night, it isn’t about girls; it’s about David Bowie. At sixteen-years-old, Jason is just beginning to understand that he might be gay.
The one place Jason feels comfortable is on the track where he can run fast and hard. He loves the feel of the wind at his back, of his legs propelling him furiously around, the roar of the crowd in his ears. But now, even his sanctuary feels threatening. It isn’t just the jerks who call him “faggot” in the locker room. A new guy has joined the team, and everything about him will challenge the way Jason sees life. From late-night showings of “La Cage Aux Folles” to reading Gandhi, he’s running a new race on an uncertain course, and only one thing’s for sure—his senior year is going to be unforgettable…
With A Secret Edge, Robin Reardon delivers a sexy, sensitive coming-of-age novel about identity and courage, love and honor, anger and hope, and the many ways the truth can really set you free.
“As sexy as it is surprising. A Secret Edge is a refreshing spin on the coming out story as well as a memorable new love story for the new millennium.” --Brian Sloan, author of A Tale of Two Summers.
My Review: A Secret Edge is a classical Coming of Age novel with teen characters. But it's slightly different from the usual young adult novels since for the first time the characters are pretty open in their sexual experience, and the author doesn't used the rule of don't tell what happened behind the closed doors. So as always when this happens, I have the feeling that this is more a romance for adult with young characters rather then a young adult novel for teens.
Jason is 16 years old and the classical good boy next door. Good at school and good in sports, he is also cute and lucky with girls. He is also the type of boy who gathers around him other boys who want to be his friends to shine in his aurea. But Jason is really a good guy and he is friendly with everyone. Lately however he is troubled since he makes strange dreams by night: a wet dream for a teenager is not a strange thing, but if in the dream there is another boy instead of a girl... So Jason is beginning to questioning his sexual preferences and maybe that friend he had when he was younger, the boy who shared their first sexual discoveries, was not only a friend.
When Jason starts to open his eyes to his new urges, he also opens the eyes to all the other guys around him, and finds out that he is not alone. And when he lays his eyes on Raj, he is smitten. Ray is an years older, with indian origins, and he is "hot": Jason can't stop to think at the exotic beauty of his new friend, and when Raj comes out to him as openly gay, Jason has to face an hard decision: being out himself and so have Raj, or stay in the closet... the choice is not hard when he realizes that he has a supportive family and that also at school he can find a support. True, there are other guys who are not so friendly as before, but the pros are more than the cons.
A Secret Edge is a very good novel since it faces a difficult matter without being too pedantic. When you are speaking of boy of 16 or 17 years old, you can't pretend that they act like adult. True, Raj is a old young, but he has seen a lot in his younger age. But Jason instead had a pretty comfort life, he is the beau of the school, he has big chances in front of him for the future. So he behaves like a simple guy, who likes to date and who likes to kiss and who is open to more. He can discern what it is right and what it is wrong, but he is not the perfect son who always follows the right path, he is, after all, a teenager.
Jason and Raj will not go out from this experience unarmed, but all in all I think they had a simpler life than a lot of other guys in the same situation. Jason and Raj are among the lucky ones, those who can think of a future, and a positive one.
Amazon: A Secret Edge
Other Books in the List:
Thinking Straight (2008)
Amazon: Thinking Straight
The Author: Robin Reardon is an inveterate observer of human nature and has been writing forever — childish songs, poems, little plays.
If you enjoy Robin’s books, you should read her open letter: THE CASE FOR ACCEPTANCE: An Open Letter to Humanity. In this work Robin uses reason, physical and social sciences, psychology, various other provable disciplines, and religious scripture to remove any rational objection to homosexuality. The letter also takes a stab at explaining why so many people refuse to let go of their gut-level, knee-jerk negative response to gays, and how their very humanity could help them. How it could help everyone.
By day Robin works as a communications manager for an international financial institution, creating strategic communications approaches specializing in intranet delivery of internal communications. Interests outside of writing include singing, photography, and the study of comparative religions. Robin writes in a butter yellow study with a view of the Boston, Massachusetts skyline.
Top 100 Gay Novels List (*)
External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (simple - without photos)
External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (wanted - with photos)
*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.
Note: I remember to my friends that guest reviews of the above listed books (the top 100 Gay Novels) are welcome, just send them to me and I will post with full credits to the reviewer.
Other titles not in the top 100 list: