We hope everyone had a great weekend! Today is a "review" day and to help you start your week off, the review team has put together a special review featuring some stories by our Classic Authors. If you haven't read these, hopefully these reviews will make you want to add them to your reading list. A huge thank you goes out to the review team for helping keep the blog supplied with reviews.
Word Count: 11,123
Sandy’s so cute he steals every scene he’s in, which is great because he’s in all of them! Sandy is the narrator of this humorous, emotional, and heartwarming story. Sandy happens to be a golden retriever. Which is why, of course, I chose to read the story in the first place! Because who can resist reading a story from a dog’s POV?
The story begins when Sandy is just a wee puppy and is given to a five-year-old boy named Timmy. Sandy and Timmy become inseparable. The story doesn’t get going until Sandy’s eight and Timmy’s thirteen.
I’m not going to give away any spoilers, so I won’t tell you what happens at that point. I will tell you, however, what I loved about the story. I constantly found myself laughing at how Sandy describes things that we humans do, such as: 'Timmy got out of bed, leavin’ the covers all rumpled the way I like ’em, an’ he walked into his bathroom, lifted the seat on the big water bowl an’ let loose a steady stream. What a shame it was to waste a perfectly good bowl of water like that!’ And now I know why dogs love to drink the toilet water! Another endearing quality Sandy has is the way he leaves off all the ‘g’s and shortens the words ‘them’, ‘and’, along with many other words. I think it’s comical the way his ‘voice’ is written.
Sandy, a Dog’s Tale is also a story about growing up and realizing you might not be right all of the time. It’s about coming to terms with the fact your life might not be all warm and cozy in that little box you squeezed you and your family in. And I’m talking about the adults in the story, not the kids!
Put it on your “To Read List” if you need to, but definitely, check it out when you have time. It’s a really good story. Plus, how can you resist that cute dog on the front page?? Don’t you want to read all about him and his family?
Category: Fiction Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance Tags: teen, gay, under 18, north america, animals, parents Rating: Mature
Word Count: 50,195
Starting a new school is never easy and Sean is nervous. Perhaps he has reason to be, as he finds himself thrust in the middle of students who are out of his league, at least financially. Sean is on an academic scholarship, coming from nothing and finding himself thrown into a very different world. Already on Day 1, he ends up in hot water, bumping into the resident bully and his sidekick. However, he also makes a friend that day, the instant way, by intervening in another fight. His new friend Harrison introduces him to his circle of friends at school and the story takes off. It takes us through a rollercoaster of events, shaking the lives of our protagonists.
Like all of Dabeagle's stories, the characters are so well written you instantly feel like you know them. The story is told firmly with the voices of the young and show us the world through their eyes - a world where adults merely visit. The group of friends are witty and intelligent, the banter entertaining. The arrogance of youth can be annoying, but soon the reader gets to see the cracks in the façade. Beneath the superficial exterior, there are secrets this group of friends would rather not share with anyone. Dark, unsettling and infuriating secrets. How will that affect the friendship?
The story is engrossing with a lightness and tempo to the writing that draws you in and keeps you going forward. Also, it doesn’t shy away from troubling subject matter, giving it a depth beyond the traditional “high school boy meets boy” stories. The varied vocabulary is a treat in itself, embellishing the story without turning it into a dictionary. So read it!
Category: Fiction Genres: Romance, Mystery Tags: teen, gay, coming of age, crime Rating: Mature
Word Count: 368,980
Sixteen-year-old Rory’s life gets turned upside down when he loses his mother to cancer. This might sound obvious, as a loss like that is bound to change anyone’s life. But for Rory, things change in ways he never expected. His mother’s dying wish is that, after she’s gone, Rory should go live with his father. A father he never met, and never knew anything about while his mother was still alive. Rory, without much say of his own, is whisked away from the only family he’s ever known --- his grandmother --- and shipped off to Arizona to start a new life among complete strangers.
I can’t possibly give a full and fair synopsis of this amazing story in such a short review. That little summary of the inciting incident doesn’t even scratch the surface of what this story is about. It’s one part coming-of-age tale, one part coming-out story, one part family drama, and one part romance. There’s probably some other genres that cross over into this story as well. Suffice it to say, this story is packed full of something for everyone.
Seriously, there’s a reason people still talk about this story a decade after it first posted. If you haven’t read anything by DomLuka, Desert Droppings is a great introduction to an awesome author.
Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Romance Tags: teen, anal, oral Rating: Mature
Word Count: 5,835
I’ve always been a fan of K.C.’s work and this story is no exception. It’s not a long tale, but --- pardon the pun --- it packs a wallop in only a few thousand words.
This story is about AJ, a man who has just had his world blown apart by someone he thought loved him. As he picks his way through the pieces of his heart he receives more bad news that has him packing up and leaving his previous life behind.
In his journey to rebuild, not only his life, but a home he’d once loved, he runs into someone from his past who brings with him fond memories of first loves and summertime kisses.
I think my only issue with this story was the length; it was only one chapter. There was so much more I would have liked to know. I would recommend you read Mistletoe and Handgrenades yourself to find out what happens to AJ, although I warn you, by the end, you’ll want more.
Category: Fiction Genres: Drama, Romance Tags: mature adult, gay, friendship, holiday Rating: Everyone
Word Count: 21,854
Let me introduce you to one of the most poignant and beautiful stories which I read shortly after I joined GA. It never fails to squeeze my heart and bring tears to my eyes as I hold my breath and hope for love to conquer fear and the dreaded age gap.
At the beginning of the story, Justin is contemplating jumping off a cliff, literally, but then he encounters Aaron who distracts him from the woes of having been dumped by his partner after fourteen years of catering to his wishes. The mutual attraction between the high school teacher and the eighteen-year-old is fairly obvious, but Justin knows all the reasons why he shouldn’t give in to temptation. He may be vulnerable, but he’s also sensible and honorable, two traits, which together with his kindness, make me admire him as he struggles with loneliness.
The pace of the story is slow but every word pulls you deeper. Justin may find it easy to resist the offer of physical intimacy, but as the summer progresses so does their mutual closeness of mind and heart. Justin ends up at the mental cliff of whether to leap into the love and relationship offered by Aaron, for the summer or forever. Of all the stories by this Classic GA author, this is my absolute favorite, and I heartily recommend it.
Category: Fiction Genres: Romance Tags: young adult Rating: Mature