Exploring LGBT Themes in YA Lit & Everyday Library Life

Release Date: 27 December 2011
Publisher: Kensington
Reading/Interest Level: Grades 10 & up

Nate and Adam have a great relationship. They’re out and they’re happy.  When Adam gets an offer to pursue his dream in New York, Nate tells him to go, but once Adam is gone, the decision doesn’t seem like such a good one anymore.  With Adam by his side, Nate starts to falter and a lot of things start to go downhill.  Between difficulties at school with the administration and jealousy over Adam’s new roommate, Nate has a hard time keeing things together.  Nate and Adam’s relationship is messy and difficult, but readers will find that makes the story all the more honest and heart-wrenching.  The characters’ flaws make them the type that you connect to on an almost painful level and their struggles and decisions will start to affect the reader on an often personal level. Readers looking for a messy, honest kind of romance need look no further as Don’t Let Me Go is as heart-breaking as it gets.

Don’t Let Me Go falls into what I would call the “New Adult” level of books featuring older protagonists, with out main character Nate being a senior and his boyfriend having just graduated.  It’s actually refreshing to read about characters this age because I feel like there are certain things you can do with the content when your narrators are just a little older.  Don’t Let Me Go definitely tackles the issues associated with being gay and coming out, but it also really tackles normal “relationship issues,” like misunderstandings and jealousy and reads much like a traditional romance novel with non-traditional characters.  While in public libraries this is often shelved with adult novels, I think that for older teens this is a great read to promote because it offers up an open, honest portrayal of the “issues” commonly associated with coming out in high school.


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