I remember the mid 80's when there was lots talk about this new disease that seemed to be plaguing the gay population. Very quickly we learned that people from all walks of life very dying from what became known as AIDS. This is the book for those who weren't around at that time but who are curious about it was like to grow up then.
Michael , James and Becky are teen best friends living in New York City. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life. Michael is gay but can't tell his family and his older brother was kicked out of the house when he came out. James is also gay and trying to make a name for himself as a performer. Becky is dating Andy, though doesn't know if they should remain together. One thing they all have in common, is that they are scared by this new plague that is striking down so many people in their city. They are either at risk of catching it, or seeing their friends become sick.
These are thoughts that teens should not have to deal with. Their lives should be safe, their parents should want to protect them and not kick them to the street just because they are different. I remember, at that time there was a saying 'sex is death'. If that isn't scary to a 16 year old, I don't know what is.
I feel that author Helene Dunbar has handled these topics carefully and respectfully. She hasn't diminished the importance of them, nor has she glorified any one sides views. She has been honest and I would say, blunt. I could almost feel James' fear as he considered when and how to tell his parents that he was gay. It would never be a good time to tell his dad, but it was getting harder and harder to live with his true self hidden away.
A wonderful book that should appeal to young people as well as those who remember the 80's.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.