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on May 09, 2012 :
This book is a quick and fun read with lots going on! Greer is a very likable character who is trying to work out where she fits into the grand scheme of her family as well as high school, stumbling along the way, but slowly figuring out who she is and who she wants to be. Luckily, by the end of the book she begins to realize that she is really the only one she needs to satisfy rather than the masses around her. However, that doesn't mean that the book has an easy happy ending, just that the reader has hope that things will eventually work out.
I posted an interesting guest post from AJ Walkley that is a great companion to reading this book (OMG, I just realized it was also a give away, I must get on that). Anyway, Walkley tackles many difficult subjects that are sure to resonate with readers: sexuality; fitting in; dealing with parents; heart break; cutting; and self-acceptance. While this seems like a lot, it all fits together well in this book.
The only part I didn't love, but it's what I don't love in most YA is the drug use. At least Greer is trying it (and anything sexual) for the first time as a junior in high school, but she very quickly makes smoking pot a habit.
I think having a character that is bisexual is good because it is unusual for YA literature where the characters are either homosexual or heterosexual. I also like that although Greer's sexuality is a main focus, other issues also come into play. Another aspect of this novel that I liked was the dialogue, which seems natural.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on April 20, 2012 :
Have you ever read a book that just had you saying WOW at the end?
WOW in a good way, that is.
WOW in the way that your brain was just put through the ringer because you had to think constantly throughout the whole book, constantly had to wonder how you would feel in the protagonist's shoes. Constantly had to put yourself in the shoes of the supporting characters and see if you would react the same as they did, or if your reaction would be different.
Queer Greer is that book for me.
At first I wasn't sure if I liked Greer, but as I learned more about her, walked in her shoes so to speak, I began to love her. I believe that her journey into discovering her sexuality is something that everyone goes through. A person's sexuality is not black or white - it may be blue or pink or purple. Gay or straight or bisexual.
Greer, as so many people can attest to, tried to be straight when she met Cameron, but there was Becca. Gorgeous, confident, out and proud Becca. I've known - and dated - way too many Camerons in my lifetime. Guys who are all about breaking the rules, doing manly things, but never doing what they long to do deep down. Play the guitar. Sing in front of a crowd. I don't think in my high school days that I knew many Beccas.
Queer Greer takes you on her journey from apparent "straight girl" to "secretly gay" to "the closet's been open". You may not agree with Greer's tactics, you may not agree with how she copes, but you will feel her pain and frustration as she follows her path.
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. Especially young teens who question their own sexuality or who aren't sure that anyone else feels the way they do. Someone does, and they will help you through it. You just have to find that person.
I'm required to acknowledge that I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review, good or bad. I received no other compensation and wasn't required to give it a positive review.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
on April 17, 2012 :
Wow. Just...wow. Queer Greer is exactly, and nothing, like what I was expecting. I was expecting for a different sort of coming-of-age story, one involving a teen struggling with her sexuality. What I got was the gritty and absolutely HUMAN story of Greer MacManus. Yes, struggling with her sexuality was a main theme, but her story is about so much more then that!
Walkley has managed to perfectly capture the everyday drama, stagnancy and constant self-doubt that is being a teenager. On top of that, she manages to give profound insight into just how difficult it can be to admit not only to your friends and family, but to yourself, that you are gay - during the especially difficult period that is high school. Not only does Walkley perfectly capture the everyday normalcies of high school, homework and just hanging out with friends, she expertly weaves the ups and downs that comes with an internal struggle into a completely believable story about self-realization.
The characters are EXACTLY how I remember high school. Self-conscious about a hobby that friends might not find "cool", bored with the weekend routine of sitting around watching movies and getting high/drunk, doubting your relationship and wondering if your feelings are for the person or for the comfort of being with any person and doubting every decision you make, always fearing that your secret will be found out. This made the characters genuine and real and completely relatable.
Greer is an interesting protagonist. She's in the middle of a love triangle for the vast majority of the book, and a part of me was constantly cursing her for being so weak. For not just letting herself be with the person she truly wanted to be with - Rebecca - without worrying about the consequences. But her genuineness as a teenager made me realize that as a sixteen-seventeen year old, I wouldn't have been that brave. I wouldn't have been able to look the other way if my classmates were constantly whispering behind my back, or, even worse, displaying outright signs of hatred because of my sexual orientation. But I love that Walkley didn't ask for the reader to feel sorry for, or pity Greer, because of the extra struggles she had due to her inner conflict. She made Greer human, in that she made mistakes (lots of mistakes!), she wasn't always strong or honest and she ended up hurting those she loved the most because of her weaknesses.
I do wish that Greer had been able to settle her relationship with Cameron, that she had at least been strong enough to end things with him when she knew that she didn't reciprocate his feelings, and that she had been given the choice to come out to him. I feel like her having that choice taken away was a disappointing end to their relationship because I was looking forward to that conversation. I also feel like the issues surrounding her cutting weren't resolved, and with it playing such a small role in the story, I have to wonder why it was included at all; I never truly saw Greer learn or grow from her experience with cutting. That being said, it was only because of her short-comings, because of her complete and utter humanness, that Greer was able to discover who she wanted to be and what that meant. She was able to find the strength she needed to overcome her fear of being ostracized and of being alone (for a while), if that meant staying true to herself.
I can't recommend Queer Greer enough! If nothing else, it has re-opened my eyes to the struggles someone is faced with when their sexual orientation isn't the assumed norm.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)