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Friday, August 22, 2014

#Review: The Red Sheet by @MiaKerick #YA #GLBT @BookieNookie

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick


One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.

***Nona's Review of The Red Sheet***

Bryan Dennison wakes up one morning with a sudden desire to rescue cats stuck in trees, help little old ladies cross the street and make the world a better place. He also wants to wear a red sheet tied around his neck, like a superhero’s cape.

This is a complete turnaround from the self-involved jock he’s been in the past. Why can’t Bryan remember what brought about this astounding change? And why does his classmate Scott Beckett refuse to speak to or even acknowledge him?

The Red Sheet is a YA novel that deals with school bullying, acceptance of one’s own sexuality and what happens to all the kids who don’t “fit in” at school. Bryan’s attempts to become a better person are inspiring but also humorous at times, especially when he tries to help a Little Old Lady who’s tough as nails. Being a superhero isn’t easy! He also has some struggles with his family, and trying to forgive the father that walked out on him and his mom.

More than that, he has a mystery to solve: why does Scott hate him? What happened between them? As time goes on, Bryan realizes he hurt Scott deeply, though he can’t remember how. Working together as partners for an English project gives him a chance to know Scott better, and Scott begins to lower his guard. Bryan also becomes a catalyst for change in his high school when he stops sitting with the jocks at lunch and begins sitting with Scott. Soon other “outcasts” begin to join them and form their own Social Justice League table. The more time he spends with Scott, the more Bryan realizes he cares for Scott as more than a friend. But how can he win Scott’s trust when he can’t recall what he did wrong in the first place? When all the threads come together, Bryan learns a shocking secret about himself and discovers that sometimes forgiving oneself is the hardest job of all.

I really enjoyed The Red Sheet and the themes it discusses gave me a lot to think about. The author did a great job with Bryan’s voice--there’s a fair amount of cursing in the story, but that’s how high school guys talk. He’s more than a jock and a bully, he’s a young man with a heart and deep feelings and the courage to try to become a better person. Anyone going through adolescence (and those of us who have been there) will identify with him. This is a great book for young GLBT people and their supporters. It’s also a perfect read for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider—and who among us hasn’t?

About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five non-pedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:

Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes - only love can save them.

Author Links:  
Website  Amazon  Facebook  Goodreads 

Buy Links:

Amazon B&N Dreamspinner  

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