So I've been reading a lot of LGBTQ young adult literature lately because this fall, I will be writing one of my own! It'll be my senior honors project, and I'm sure it will be a very interesting experience.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd follows the story of Dade, an 18 year old boy who has just graduated high school, and isn't really looking forward to his last summer at home. He has a "boyfriend" who treats him like dirt, a boring summer job, and his parents' marriage is falling apart. However, everything changes when he meets Alex Kincaid, and they begin a summer romance. Dade's summer goes from miserable to enjoyable almost overnight. But when a tragedy strikes at the end of the summer, Dade must learn to let go of the past and look towards the future.
I first found this book on Goodreads, and it sounded interesting, so I ended up buying when I went to Powell's Bookstore back in March (the most amazing bookstore located in Portland, OR, in case you aren't familiar). I didn't regret picking it up. Dade's voice sounded so realistic throughout the novel, and he was so entertaining that I found it difficult to put it down once I picked it up. Nick Burd does an excellent job capturing the voice of a teenager, and the voice of a gay teenager at that.
I also enjoyed that the story had a few plot twists that I wasn't really expecting. I thought I had the whole story figured out from the beginning, but Nick Burd decided to prove me wrong, which is excellent, especially for an LGBTQ novel. They so often have predictable story lines (the basic coming out story, the kid who's bullied, etc.) that it is always nice to have one that doesn't follow the same story. I think this shows how far this genre has come since it was first published in the sixties, and even though it's not quite all inclusive yet, it is definitely on its way there. The Vast Fields of Ordinary definitely makes a great summer read. Until next time, happy reading! :)