By Brent Hartinger
Russel thinks he’s ‘the only gay in the village’ – well, in his school, at least – until he discover that he’s not alone. Together with his newfound gay, straight and bisexual friends, he forms the Geography Club – a club that sounds so boring that no-one else will join and thus learn the secret of the true purpose of the club.
Russel is such a likeable protagonist, his first person narrative revealing him to be a fun-loving teen, with lots of heart, on a big journey learning about friendship, love and loyalty. He travels the path with some interesting friends, including Min and her lesbian lover, and the gorgeous jock Kevin who Russel falls for.
While lots of the issues in the story reflect the main themes of gay YA fiction – such as safe sex, homophobia and coming out – Hartinger has a way of making it all seem fresh and new and interesting. And this is because one of the main themes of the book is the feeling of wanting to hide away, or to keep secret, one’s true self – a theme so many can identify with. Even if it is like calling your gay, straight and lesbian alliance group a Geography Club.
A fast-paced book filled with fun, humour, sadness and friendship.