This story had great characters that were very believable. Every character in this story could have been a kid I went to school with. The average gay boy trying to hide and stay just there on the line between popular and bullied, the gay jock that is scared of being outed, the friend that would do anything to be popular, the lesbian that hides her relationship, but is proud of it as well, and the boy nobody likes and was always bullied and abused.
The feelings that Russell displayed were similar feelings to what I had felt at one time or another in my life, and this helps to bring out the “real” in the story. Kevin, I believe could have been so much more then he ended up being. (More on this later.) Gunnar was a self-absorbed ass who was willing to sell out and exploit his best friend for a chance at a girl that didn’t even exist (she didn’t like him). Sadly not uncommon in school. Min was very laid back, but also very true to herself and her beliefs. She was willing to fight for what he believed in. Brian was my favorite character in the book. He had the strength and poise under attack that I wish I could master. Though, I would like to point out that there were a few parts about Brian I didn’t believe. I have been bullied and abused all my life, so to me it’s hard to believe that he didn’t remember who bullied him especially when it’s a new bully. While at school, a bullied kid ALWAYS remembers and knows whom to hide from. Now, no longer at that school, I can understand why only the worst bullies stand out in his mind.
I loved the club idea and thought that played well in the story. It started for only LGBT and grew from there. I loved the way that the club members interacted, and could see this as a real club at school.
One thing didn’t like was that I felt the author was telling me the story instead of me being able to get in the story as I was living it. I would prefer to feel what the characters feel and not be told what they feel.
When I look for the perfect book for me, I look at whether I can relate to the book and its characters and, whether the book left me with hope. I have said it before, but I feel it bears repeating: hope is a very important and can be a very strong, sometimes the only, inspiration to a kid who needs help. This book was well written, and the scenario could be something that does happen high school life. Sadly, it was not the book for me. This is not to say many of you won’t like it. It was made into a movie so there are many who did like it. I feel there were many ways this book could have ended that would have brought me hope. I have a hard life, so I understand that life is not easy and not perfect. I however, would like to hope and wish for the better future.
I have read books that have ripped my heart to shreds and I have hurt along with the characters in the book, but a good story for me, will sew my heart back together and leave me feeling hopeful. The end of this book just didn’t do it for me. I was so mad that Kevin couldn’t take the pressure. He became exactly what that club was against. Though Russell started to lose himself, he found himself again. Kevin just became the jock that gives gay Jocks a bad name. I feel that by doing that, the author gave those actions approval. I truly work hard to overcome the abuse I endure at school, so it hurt me a little when I felt that this book was saying it was ok to hide and not be yourself out of fear. It’s ok to turn your back on someone you claim to care about, as long as you are safe. There was no hope in that message for someone like me, and it goes against what I feel a YA LGBT author should show us kids. I give this book 2 marbles. ~Timmy
About Geography Club
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
Available in Print and eBook
About Geography Club
Russel Middlebrook is convinced he’s the only gay kid at Robert L. Goodkind High School. Then his online gay-chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school’s baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students too. There’s his best friend, Min, who reveals she‘s bisexual; Min’s soccer-playing girlfriend, Terese; and Terese’s politically active friend, Ike.
But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?
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