Not Flying Straight… an owner’s manual
The delights in not flying straight…
And now for something completely different but ultimately, very, very rewarding…
I’m reading a lovely story right now that sort of snuck up on me and took me by surprise. It seemed innocuous enough a subject – a gay coming of age story set amongst some witches in Seattle, Washington. Sort of a gay American Harry Potter – only with hot boy/boy action, right?
Yeah, well, sorta in that that’s not all Jacobson rewards us with. There is a crispness to the prose that I am really liking. The protag makes me grouse a bit, but I love it when authors do that – so bang on the money Jacobson! Well done, you!
The book of which I speak, btw, is called
The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight (The Broom Closet Series)
by Jeff Jacobson
Here’s the thing about this little gem… it’s YA so we don’t have to worry ourselves about the hot b/b action getting too hot and heavy so much because of the way the genre curtails that within the these sorts of books. Why? I don’t know because at 15/16 i was already reading John Rechy’s The Sexual Outlaw to sort things out (as I’ve said in earlier blog posts). I am assuming that this fair is playing it safer for the girls because, yeah, boys aren’t so shy about the topic of sex – remember, contemplating linoleum gets boys going at this age. They are so not afraid of their own manly parts – just sayin’…
But that is NOT something I will put on Mr. Jacobson. No, I’d rather talk about his work, rather than the foibles of the YA genre (gay or straight). As for the book, here’s the dealio – I am purposefully reading it s-l-o-w. Why? Because the first one is the only one out right now and goddamnit, I miss the heady days of Harry Potter! Jacobson is MY Rowling, now! Not saying that if JKR put out another HP verse book I wouldn’t be there at the midnight release party (remember those…?) in line with all the others, but yeah, for now Jacobson will fill that gap rather nicely.
Part of me is reveling in this tale of coming of age because the closet is inferred (and sometimes quite literally in your face) in many different ways in the book. Each person has a reason to “come out” (so to speak) about something in their past. While it doesn’t (at this juncture – I am only 58% through the book – remember, I am reading it SLOWLY to savor every little element from it) have all the side stories of Potter’s world, or a Hogwarts (though, Puget Academy is sort of playing second fiddle in a weird granola hippy we’re too nice to say anything bad about anyone because we have the über tolerant (and as it turns out, resilient) headmaster of the school who enforces the no bullying policy (as he should) with an iron fist), it does have nicely drawn secondary and tertiary characters that give the whole world a nestled in the greenery feeling that comes from that part of the US Northwest (I have family there so I know the area quite well – something that Jacobson unveils to great effect).
Charley Creevey is a hot mess (of sorts). He’s eye rolling worthy at times, which I think is a lovely character standpoint to write from and Jacobson does it brilliantly. Charley is tangible. He is exasperating (in all the right ways). His love interest, when he is fully realized is Diego Ramirez is a great match – I am loving them so far. Their pairing is sweet as it is heady and intoxicating (as only a first love can be).
“I am not through with the book, but I can say the book has me through and through.”
I am not through with the book, but I can say the book has me through and through. This is a series I think I will come to cherish as much as my beloved Potter series. The artwork is brooding and evokes danger and an eking into Creevey’s life. A wonderfully brilliant start to a series. While I don’t read too many YA novels (because of the earlier sentiments I have for how we suppress the sexual laden nature of our teen years when we ALL know the reverse is going on) I will stand by Jacobson’s position on this series – It’s bang on! But again, the other point is a blog posting for another time.
I’ll probably write another final review of the work. But this one has me hooked. What I like about this one is that my daughter probably won’t mind my reading it with the granddaughter (who is pre-teen and a darkling of a goth like girl – she doesn’t look the part but she’s goth in an epic way inside). Keely’s a big time Beautiful Creatures series reader (also along the witch/caster line). But she’s all about the gay boys too (something about her grandpa being one and all, I suppose). She seemed pleased that we have something to share together. It’ll be a good match.
Anyway, I highly encourage picking up this delightful read. I am savoring each and every page!