14 August 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Andy Squared by Jennifer Lavoie

Release Date: 18 September 2012
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (Bella Distribution)
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
Seventeen-year-old twins, Andrew and Andrea Morris, have always been close. They share everything—from their friends to a room—and they both enjoy star positions on their high school’s soccer teams. All’s right with the twins...or is it?

When new student Ryder Coltrane moves from Texas to their small New York town, he spins Andrew’s world upside down. All of Andrew’s past relationship troubles begin to make sense and his true feelings start to click into place after Ryder comes out to him. His friendship with Ryder turns secretively romantic, but secrets, they soon find out, are hard to keep. Once rumors start to fly, so-called friends turn on them, and the boys’ relationship turns into a bomb about to explode. But Andrew never expected it would be his own twin, Andrea, holding a lighter to ignite it.
My Thoughts...
Andrew and Andrea (both of whom go by the nickname Andy) have a great relationship--they're both good students, they're both at the head of their respective soccer teams, and they share a great set of friends. Their plans include going to college together and playing soccer.  On the outside, they've got a pretty perfect relationship--but unexpected revelations and secrets threaten to break apart their great relationship.

Andy (Andrew) was a really interesting main character to follow through this novel, but he was a little harder to connect to than some other characters I've enjoyed reading. He's fun, thoughtful, and honest if not a little too much of a follower sometimes.  When he starts hanging out with Ryder, I like the way that he seems to sort of grow into his own shoes and become his own person--separate from his twin sister and the friends that they've shared forever.  Andy's story would have made a great coming-of-age story, even without the bigger revelations and implications.

As a coming-of-age story AND a coming-out story, Andy Square does a good job portraying the difficulties of learning to accept who you are and realizing that others sometimes will and sometimes won't accept that. Andrew and Ryder's story was a fun romance to follow as Andy discovers and becomes more comfortable with his true self.  Their relationship has the sweetness of a budding romance that all readers can appreciate.

When Andrea finds out his secret relationship with Ryder (and NOT exactly in a subtle way), Andrew's world explodes as his family and friends learn his ad Ryder's secret.  The drama that follows the revelations struck me as realistic but perhaps a bit oversimplified.  However, I appreciated the way that Ms. Lavoie resolved the novel but still left it fairly open.

Ms. Lavoie has a wonderful writing style that is sure to entertain many contemporary readers and she brings a new offering to YA fiction portraying LGBT characters.  At times, Andy's voice (Andrew) struck me as seeming too feminine but I suppose this could easily be chalked up to having a twin sister or simply part of his personality.  Overall, this was a fun, quick, and easy contemporary read likely to entertain many fans.

1 comment:

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I like the idea of this one though I'm not excited at the prospect that the issues maybe oversimplified. It seems like it still works though.

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