Geography Club, by Brent Hartinger

Taring: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5/5

It does not matter who you are or where you come from. This story has a little something for everyone who has ever felt insecure about themselves and/or felt lonely in a sea of people.

In this story for young adults, Russel is a young man who would do anything to hide the truth about his sexuality-even date girls. But his growing loneliness leads him to take a risk and he discovers that he is not the only homosexual student in his high school. As he continues to meet with his newfound friends in secret, their growing fear of being discovered leads them to create a very boring school club that no one else would ever want to join: the geography club. They feel safe in their new meeting place, but things soon get very complicated and their secret is compromised.

I love this book and thank Mr. Hartinger for writing such a realistic, frank and memorable story depicting a human being and not another stereotype. Russel is a memorable character. He is down to earth, funny, sincere and very afraid of what could happen to him if people knew his secret. He lets his fear cloud his judgment and he makes big mistakes for the sake of staying in the closet, which makes him all the more endearing.

I have never liked characters that were all good and would never dream of doing harm; humans are more complicated than that. Skin crawling and alarm bells going off in his brain, Russel gives in to his fear time and time again, even if it means being a complete jerk and hurting someone else’s feelings. The only consolation he would allow himself was that at least he was not making fun of someone for being gay…Things just escalate from there and lead to an ending that is not necessarily a happy one, but it is an ending that had to happen in order to stay true to the story.

If you have not read this book yet, stop reading this and go get it! I doubt you will be disappointed.

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