Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ARC Review: The Sacrifices We Make by Sophie Bonaste

The Sacrifices We MakeFrom the blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Adam Jameson has always felt like an outsider in his own home, where his parents’ constant efforts to instill religious fervor have instead filled him with fear. Most of the time, he just wants to stay out of everybody’s way. But when Adam is forced to volunteer at a homeless shelter his senior year in high school, everything changes. He’s introduced to people who care about more than religion and, as a result, he starts to come out of his shell. For the first time in his life, Adam finds people who he wants to be around.

Mickey Stafford lives on the streets, a teen kicked out by his parents for being gay. He comes to the shelter for food and medical care, and after they literally run into each other, the two boys strike up a friendship. As Mickey introduces his new friend to the world he lives in, Adam starts to question everything: his parents, their religion, even his own beliefs. Once Mickey kisses him, Adam starts soul-searching and finds his heart, which is full of love for Mickey. But these two young men will have their love put to the test as they face a future of uncertainty and fear.

Sandra's rating:

Well...I don't really have a lot of good to say about this book. It's chockful of simplistic writing, telling rather than showing, and stiff characters that had no depths and became caricatures rather than actual people.

I can see where this is supposed to be a book that tries very hard to become something geared towards LGBT Youth, but it fails to deliver on that promise. The harsh, super extreme religious themes, with the strict upbringing Adam has, ticked me off from the start. While it's certainly possible that households like Adam's exist, with a patriarch at the helm requiring unquestioning and immediate obedience, with bible study and such things, I found it too extreme to be a good example. The Camp Revelation where the kids are supposedly sent if they step out of the good Christian line also seemed a bit extreme. Again, sure, this stuff probably does go on, but those are fringe groups, I would think.

Which brings me to the religion part - gah. I'm a Christian too, but I don't believe in every single word the bible says. I teach my children charity, unconditional love and forgiveness, which is what Jesus taught. So all those bible thumpers holding up the Holy Book quoting that homosexuality is sin better never let me catch them wearing mixed cloth or eating shellfish. The bible forbids that too.

*steps off the soapbox*

So, Adam meets Mickey at the homeless shelter where he volunteers, finds out that Mickey is gay and then figures out that he's gay too. Only took him a weekend. Fortuitously, he's already starting to rebel against the strictness of his parents and the church community they belong to, and hello, insta-love. First love is cool and all, but please keep it realistic. Soulmates? Lovely.

Even the "normal" adults, like Adam's brother John and his husband, were flat. Yes, John is the poster boy for making it after getting kicked out of his home, but he had help. It was ever so convenient that Adam had an older brother who could help him after their father pulled the "You're not my son if you're gay" shit on both of them.

I was hating on dear old dad pretty much the whole time. Mom is no better, submissive to her husband in all things. This so-called Christian doesn't have a real Christian bone in him. Someone ought to smack him over the head with the good book he holds so dear. They discuss the story of the Good Samaritan and don't even see the fucking irony in their own words.

So this book, despite all its shortcomings, is getting 2.5 stars because it managed to make me raging mad with all the hypocrisy inside. I wish nobody would lose their home just because of who they love. I wish all parents loved their kids unconditionally and supported them, no matter whether they're het or not.

I have two sons of my own. There will not ever be a day when I will not love them for who they are. And when they find someone to spend their lives with, I will be happy that they have found love, whether that be in the form of a man or a woman.

At the end of the day, love is ALL that matters. Jesus taught me that.

I received a free ARC from Dreamspinner Press. A positive review was not promised in return.

Buy this book: Dreamspinner Press

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