Truman L. Cobbler has not had an easy life. It's bad enough people say he looks like Donkey from Shrek. He also suffered the death of his policeman father and his mother's remarriage to a professional swindler, who cost them everything. Now dirt poor, they live in the barrio of San Antonio, Texas.
When Tru transfers to an inner-city high school halfway through his senior year, he meets Javi Castillo, a popular and hot high school jock. Javi takes an immediate liking to Tru, and the two become friends. The odd pairing, however, rocks the school and sets the cliquish social circles askew. No one knows how to act or what to think when Mr. Popular takes a stand for Mr. Donkey. Will the cliques rise up to maintain status quo and lead Tru and Javi to heartbreak and disaster or will being true to who they are rule the day?
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A famous gay theme, which of course I enjoyed
Anti-bullying story both enhanced and diminished
The book is told in first person. Yet, the writer's style is better as an omniscient third person narrator. The word choice and phrasing and the many many verbal flourishes don't seem as credible coming from a high school senior.
I was actually much more comfortable with his phrasing in When Love Takes Over. Of course the excesses of Provincetown are a great camouflage for a bit over overwrought writing.
The protagonists are so young that their physical shows of affection are very muted. The epilogue gives us a great chance to see them in a more erotic, less public time.
Listening to a book aloud sometimes highlights the awkwardness of the phrasings and this book has several examples of that, for example "cars' horns blared" sounds much more awkward than "car horns blared" whereas I'd probably not have noticed if I were reading rather than listening.
Narrator Mark Westfield does a commendable job with the narration here giving each character their own "voice" and deftly handling the varying levels of accents some of the Latino characters have. The women's voices are rendered as distinct without taking on the grating falsetto quality so often given them by male narrators. Also there are some special effects of sorts including speeches muffled by shoulders or made hollow by microphones that are well rendered.