I just finished reading When Everything Feels Like The Movies, By Raziel Reid… And my heart is still raw.
This book won the 2015 Canadian Governor Generals Award in young adult fiction and attracted much attention in doing so. (I can’t help but laugh a little… The main character Jude would have LOVED this!) I read a few heated articles about this book and its award. Some said, that the use of language, discussion of drugs, and graphic sex and violence in this book were too much of an adult topic to be classified as young adult fiction. And, that the book was glorifying these subjects.
After reading it cover to cover, I’d dare to say that that was not the author’s intent at all. I’d say it was more a portrayal of an honest, brutal and totally un-sugar coated reality that some gay youth have to face every day.
It starts off as a tale of a flamboyantly gay teen, living as only he can (in the spot light), in an unaccepting, homophobic society. The main character, Jude, faces many hardships; bulling, assaults, fake friends, checked out parents, and the list goes on. Jude’s life is not an easy one, but he chooses to live it openly no matter what the consequence.
There’s a Betty Davis quote in the book that really stuck with me… Probably burned in to my memory forever.
“It’s better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you’re not.”
This book is not my usual M.O., but I’m glad I expanded my horizons and took the time to read it. If I were asked if I would recommend this book, what would I say?
Have an open mind… Not everything you read has to have a glossy coat of ‘perfect’ on it.
I give this book a 5 out of 5… and 1 yellow blanket.