Release Date: 18 September 2012
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Reading/Interest Level: Grades 10 & up
Andrew and Andrea have always had the perfect twin relationship. They share everything from their friends to their love of soccer to their room. When Ryder Coltrane moves to town, he unknowingly shakes things up and sets in motion a chain of events bound to rattle the comfortable confines and Andrew and Andrea’s perfect relationship. Told from the point of view of Andrew, Andy Squared is a fun and easy contemporary read. The startling simplicity of Andrew’s acceptance of his sexuality and his budding romance with Ryder add an element of sweetness to the story. When the inevitable happens and Andrea finds out, Andrew and Ryder must deal with the fall-out of their secret as it is unveiled first to Andrew’s family and then to the rest of their group of friends. Thankfully the twins are reconciled in the end, but it is clear that nothing will ever be the same.
Jennifer Lavoie’s debut novel tackles the issue of coming-out but read more as a coming-of-age novel. Andrew’s story would be just a poignant without the additional sexuality issue because it’s really about him breaking free of the expectations of his friends and family to find his own path. That in-and-of itself holds a lot of appeal for readers because it makes it seem like less of an “issue” book. However, the author’s exploration of his family and freinds’ reactions keeps the main issue at the forefront of readers minds.