I really enjoyed this book. It centres on a boy called Ethan who lives in a small town where religion and science are clashing; add to the mix secret homosexuality, a dysfunctional jesus loves me brother, a killer dog Two, several layers of profound intellectual analysis and you have a great book worthy of reading. I think this book is about Eathan knowing who he is but having to learn to embrace it, which doesn't mean he has to shout from the roof tops but that he can let people he loves truely into his life. It has also helped me understand that there aren't two sides to choose from but everyone must find the right timing and place for whatever the want to do without stepping on anyone else's right to be who they are. Even if we don't agree we must respect that we all have the right to choose for ourselves.
Ethan is a young man who prides himself on being an outlier. One who chooses to NOT fit in and yet tries to have a positive image of himself despite the judgement of others. He is, as his soon to be boyfriend first notices, a charmer. Ethan's gay and his best gal pal is a disapproving evangelical Christian. His older brother has also turned to the church life and his mother is going through a divorce after kicking her sometimes too childish husband out of their home.
Ethan's also "gone goth" partly in tribute to his distant relative Edgar Allen Poe.
This is another smart, charming read about a teenager on the cusp of coming out and coming into his own. It works as a romance and a coming of age story. At the same time it raises thought provoking questions about the whole Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate, the reasons that some folks turn to religious zealotry and the harm that they often inflict on themselves, their familes and their communities. As dark as some of the events are this one ends on a hopeful note as Ethan learns about his own inner strength and comes to understand himself better.
Overall a great read. I knew almost nothing of BIID before I read it and it's a great story on many levels. It has a few dark moments but is mostly hopeful and ends on an upbeat note while leaving you plenty to think about.
BTW clueless Max gets the best line in the the entire novel. And the best malaprop of the year... It's an erectoral vote.... it doesn't mean dick.
A compelling read that nicely describes some interesting characters and situations. The pack mentality of the school students and the community at large is carefully placed against the individuality of Ethan and his friends. I enjoyed the novel and found some thought provoking threads running through it.
I quite like Robin Reardon. I assume that her books are geared towards the gay teenage market but as there are very few gay-themed books for adults in the UK, I tend to read a lot of U.S. authors instead - irrespective of their target audience. Anyway, her writing is very mature, intelligent and well-thought through. This book gets quite bogged down in the American religious arguments about Intelligent Design versus Natural Selection - a theme which seems to mirror that very peculiar American insitution the 'religious right'. So, it does get a bit tedious. Not her most enjoyable book but well-written nevertheless.
Why did I buy it on Amazon (second hand)? Well, frankly I would rather have saved my money and borrowed it from the library but British libraries seem to have a policy against purchasing American books. Indeed they won't even take advantage of buying second hand books on Amazon (of which there is a very comprehensive selection).