David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
"David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems."- Summary from Amazon.com
I really enjoyed this novel. Bantle's debut YA is a refreshing look at a coming-out story and is realistic as well as honest in its portrayals of the struggles teens face with sexuality, coming out, and being themselves. The book is a quick read, and the characters are well-written and three-dimensional even in the short length of this novel. The prose is compelling and will leave readers thinking about friendship, sexuality, and acceptance. David's experiences about dealing with his sexuality differ vastly from my own, but I know his thoughts and concerns will resonate with those struggling to accept themselves and come out. It's not just a book for people struggling with their sexuality though; it can be for people whose friends are gay, or even for people struggling with being themselves in other ways aside from sexuality. Definitely a recommended book.
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