Friday, September 11, 2015

Novel Review: Geography Club (Russel Middlebrook, #1) by Brent Hartinger

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary; LGBTQ+
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2003
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Goodkind High School.

Then his online gay chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school's baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students, too. There's his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer-playing girlfriend Terese. Then there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike.

But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?

"We just choose a club that's so boring, nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it Geography Club!"

Brent Hartinger's debut novel is a fast-paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart.

The Cover:

I rather like this cover. It definitely shows that the characters are in high school, in a club. Even the guy on it looks like he's miserable in high school, stuck, which fits well. I like it.


“‘Russel,’ she said, ‘people make mistakes. If there was no such thing as forgiveness, there wouldn’t be any friendships left in the world.’” (Hardback, pg. 207)

I like the idea of this book a lot. Russel thinks he’s the only gay kid in town, until he meets another one online. In a major no-no move, he meets the other boy in town that night, after one conversation. And from that point, finds out there’s more than just him, and they form a club.
It’s a little rocky, with a lot of different personalities, and since most of them have never talked before. But they have a major thing in common, and that pulls them together. And of course, some drama happens, they’re possibly outed, there’s a kid that’s bullied who Russel forms a friendship with.
The writing was a little plain, and I was hoping for more resolve with the outside characters, like the kids’ parents and teachers and classmates. I didn’t feel much chemistry between Russel and the boy he likes. But it was an easy read, very fast, and I liked it. It was definitely worth picking up.

No comments:

Post a Comment