Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend

Common Sense Media says

Mature themes abound in tale about a teen's gay ex.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

This unique story will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them. Readers who like this book may read the sequel, Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape).

Positive messages

Will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them.

Positive role models

Carrie is thoughtful and honest about her confused feelings. She is never cruel to her ex-boyfriend, even though he has changed everything for her.

Violence

Two boys fight. Belle is attacked in the school hallway by a bully.

Sex

Belle and her boyfriend have had sex. Other characters kiss and fool around.

Language

Lots of derogatory words for gay people, and other words such as "bitch" and "f--k."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book centers on a teen girl whose boyfriend tells her he's gay. She recalls having sex with him and eventually kisses a new guy; her ex-boyfriend goes on to have a relationship with another boy. There is swearing, including derogatory terms for gay people. And there is a disturbing scene where Belle is attacked by a male bully at her school. Belle is an honest character and her unique story will make teens think about tolerance and love -- and the challenges that exist for gay people and those who support them.

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Kids say

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What's the story?

After Belle finds out that her high school sweetheart is gay, she has to move on with her life, trying to deal with his new boyfriend, the small town gossip, her own new love interest -- and an intimidating bully who now seems fixated on her.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The writer definitely has talent. She describes the cold Maine setting beautifully, using the icy, barren backdrop to emphasize the loneliness Belle feels after losing her boyfriend. She also shares wonderful details -- such as Belle and Dylan's trips to a small cemetery, where they imagine the lives of those buried there -- which give her characters some depth.

 

The problem is that she tries to pack too much into this novel: a gay boyfriend, their intolerant small town, his new relationship, her new relationship, a bully who begins targeting Belle -- and, oh yeah, there's also Belle's epilepsy. Hopefully, this author will continue to write, sharpening her storytelling skills to match her talent for detail.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media portrays gay characters. Do you think the way Belle and her ex-boyfriend are treated seems realistic? Do you think books like this one do anything to change how we treat one another?

  • This book has a sequel called Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape). Do you plan to read that one? Why are sequels fun to read -- what do you think makes authors interested in writing them? Also, why are publishers interested in printing a series?

Book details

Author:Carrie Jones
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Flux
Publication date:May 1, 2007
Number of pages:360
Read aloud:14
Read alone:14

This review of Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old Written byDaddyslittlepunk April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

mmmmmmhmmm...

It's a really great book. I guess though you really should know your kid. Or if your kid knows themselves enough they'll get it theirselves like I did... Actually I guess that's cause I knew my mom enough. Ha, ha

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