23 March 2015

Poz (The Lives of Remy and Michael #1) by Christopher Koehler

 Remy Babcock and Mikey Castelreigh are stalwart members of the Capital City Rowing Club’s junior crew, pulling their hardest to earn scholarships to rowing powerhouses like California Pacific. Just a couple of all-American boys, they face the usual pressures of life in an academic hothouse and playing a varsity sport. Add to that the stifling confines of the closet, and sometimes life isn’t always easy, even in the golden bubble of their accepting community. Because Remy and Mikey have a secret: they're both gay. While Mikey has never hidden it, Remy is a parka and a pair of mittens away from Narnia.

Mikey has always been open about wanting more than friendship, but Remy is as uncomfortable in his own skin as he is a demon on the water. After their signals cross, and a man mistakes Remy for a college student, Remy takes the plunge and hooks up with him. After a furious Mikey cuts Remy off, Remy falls to the pressure of teenage life, wanting to be more and needing it now. In his innocence and naiveté, Remy makes mistakes that have life-long consequences. When Remy falls in the midst of the most important regatta of his life, he can only hope Mikey will be there to catch him when he needs it most.
Remy, a seventeen year old confused young man is at the end of his junior year of high school, when he starts getting feeling for another young man on his rowing team, Michael. Michael has never shied away from his sexuality so knowing that Remy starts guessing he may be gay as well. But Remy family unlike Michael’s will not take kindly to the news that one of their sons is gay, especially his father so he hides this fact. Over the junior/senior summer, after the rejection he felt from Michael he decides to explore his new found sexuality, unfortunately this had some lifelong consequences that a seventeen year old boy shouldn’t have to face.

First, I have to state two things, I’m not a seventeen year old gay boy and I’ve never been. Also I never read YA, but this one intrigued me. However, I was left disappointed. It was well written and you could feel that you were experiencing the life of a confused teen. And I did learn a lot about the break through with new drugs, who knew that with the right cocktail they could reduce the levels to zero! Also I had no idea that the virus could manifest so quickly, esp. in a healthy young adult, just a month or two. WOW. My problem is the author is basically saying that if a young man goes out like this characters mindset that he will catch AIDS. But yet, if you stay home and be good like the other character, you’ll be fine. Isn’t that the same as preaching abstinence? Which we all know doesn’t work. Among other things, this book is full of every stereotypical young and old gay male action and reference I thought the LBGT community was trying to avoid and stop?  Not to mention stereotyping the good family with the good kid and the bad with the bad. I would not suggest this book to any YA confused kid.


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