Title: Pray the Gay Away
Series: A Southern Thing
Genre: LGBT New Adult
Date published: March 13, 2014
Star football player, Jack Miller, had it all. The perfect family, looks, girls hanging on his every word, and the respect of most people in his town. But one thing was missing--a man to be his own.
When Andrew Collins showed up in small town, conservative Sweet, Georgia, he looked more scrawny mutt than high school senior. Andrew's plan was to keep his head down and graduate high school, leaving his family behind to start his real life.
When he meets Andrew, Jack thinks he's found heaven, but reality holds him in check until one night when his lips gently slide across Andrew's and fireworks go off.
As lust and something a little deeper brings them together, compelling them to take chances, people start to notice. Then the unthinkable happens, and Jack's parents find out he likes guys. The battle lines are drawn and they vow to pray the gay away.
Before I say anything else, I want it known that I did enjoy most of what I read. It was an interesting story, and I'm glad the author decided to write this topic. It brings up a lot of important issues that children of closed minded parents come up against.
I really wanted to love this book, but there were really too many issues to overlook. First of all, there is a small, but noticeable, amount of typos. The most obvious of them being someone's name. Example: "Like" instead of "Luke". More commonly is the abundance of contradictions I found.
The part that bothered me the most was how gay males were depicted. It was a bit ignorant at times, almost offensively at points. I have no doubt this was not intentional, but it would have helped to run this story by an editor that could have fixed the typos, contradiction, and hopefully the representation of gay males.
I mentioned closed minded parents earlier. That is a very important topic this book addresses. There are too sets of parents depicted in this book that are homophobic. One has alternative methods of punishment, limiting food/sleep, the other is said to be more physical, except there is really only one instance of it happening. There is lots of talk about it though, so I felt that it was underplayed.
My biggest issue would be with Jack's mother. She supposedly assumes Jack is gay, yet thinks he's having sex with a girl and doesn't find it odd when she asks him about it, he said, "I did not have sex with a girl" multiple times. She is known for keeping the dad from hurting the kids, yet the dad is known as someone who hurts them and the mom sends Jack home alone to deal with the dad alone when the dad is very angry.
As I've said before, it's an interesting book, and I am planning on continuing the series because of that. I feel this could have done such a better service with it's message had more work gone into making sure this was of a higher quality.