Sunday, June 24, 2018
Book Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In
AUTHOR: Angelo Surmelis
PUBLISHED: January 30th, 2018
PREMISE: A boy tries to survive high school and an abusive household all while dealing with his growing knowledge that he is gay.
MY REVIEW: First I'm going to give several trigger warnings for this book. The character's mother is incredibly abusive, both physically and emotionally. He also faces major bullying and there's lots of homophobic language used throughout the story by people. If all of that is triggering for you...maybe wait to read the book. I mean it started to piss me off while reading it and I'm not even gay, nor have I ever been abused. But the people in this book (not the main character or his love interest, but like the bullies and the mother and basically every crappy person enabling them in that town) just made me so freaking angry. If you have any sort of empathy...it'll probably make you angry as well.
Which is probably what hindered my enjoyment of this. But I also recognize, this book was not written with me, a het-leaning demisexual woman, in mind. It was written for gay teens. To give gay teens hope. To show them they can survive and it gets better and all of that. This is a daily reminder: just because something does not speak to you. Does not mean it won't speak to anyone else. Not every book/movie/TV show is written for just you. Which I think is a good thing. It means we get more variety in our entertainment.
So personally, I had a hard time enjoying this one. But I also see that story-wise it's good. The writing is powerful. For people who need this kind of book in their lives, I definitely recommend it.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of things like Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, The Miseducation of Cameron Post fans, etc.
MY RATING: Four out of Five powerful stories that weren't for me, but still good