Today I read a book, and now I am going to talk about it at extreme length. This post comes in twdo parts: The nonspoilery part, and the extremely spoilery part. I will cut the second part, in case you are interested in reading the book and don't want to get spoiled.Part one: no spoilers
Oh right, I should tell you what the book is. The book is called Sprout, and it is by Dale Peck.
Today I was out on errands and ended up with a bit of time to kill, so I wandered into the nearby independent bookstore, and discovered it has a whole little section on queer stuff! So that was awesome and made me happy. And then the bottom shelf was picture books with queer themes -- things like And Tango Makes Three, and Heather Has Two Mommies, and other classics I keep hearing about but have never read, so I promptly read through all of them, and it made me grin like a doofus.
And then there was a novel sitting on the shelf that the picture books were on, and it looked intriguing, so I picked it up. (okay, so I was immediately attracted by the person with short green hair on the cover. I like interesting hair, okay?)
And ended up reading the whole thing perched on a chair in the corner of the store. Oops.
The book -- Sprout -- is very good. I really enjoyed reading it. The use of language is self-conscious but still somehow beautiful, and I really liked the main character (also called Sprout) and was very engaged in his life.
It is, as you might guess from what part of the bookstore I picked it up in, a book about being gay.
(and as an awesome bonus for me, it took place in one of the Mennonite areas of the US, a part of Kansas, and so here and there there'd be references to super-menno names and I'd just grin in recognition.)
And it's really hard to talk about this book without spoilers because the book is basically about secrets, and what secrets Sprout is and isn't keeping, so I'll end the spoiler-free part with the following: Awesome book (albeit with a caveat I discuss in the next section), you should totally read it, the end.
So! ( Part two: spoilers! That turn into a discussion of the similarities and differences between the genre expectations of lit versus fanfic! )