Friday, 18 September 2009

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle

From Amazon: David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems.

David Inside Out is an emotional, well-written book that I couldn't put down. Lee Bantle really made me feel for his characters and the life-changing decisions they're met with, and I was left with a better understanding of just how difficult it is to be a gay teenager in this day and age.

Thankfully, homosexuality is accepted these days, and the majority of people don't think twice about having gay friends or acquaintances. However, high school can still be a cruel place, and this is made apparant in David Inside Out. David is part of the track team, and is getting to grips with his own emerging sexuality. By having a fling with teammate Sean, he opens the door to vulnerability and ridicule, and is faced with the decision to come out to his family and friends. I can't even imagine how difficult this would be for someone to deal with, and the fact that David can overcome all the negative comments and snide remarks is testament to his incredibly strong character.

Bantle does a brilliant job of conveying teenage confusion and uncertainty, and David Inside Out is a book that I'm sure a lot of teenagers, gay or straight, will relate to. Experimentation is a natural part of life, which is why I think David's brief relationship with Kick fits his story well. By testing his compatibility with a girl, he ultimately makes the decison to be himself, and faces the truths that have held him back for so long.

Everyone should find their place in the world and be happy with themselves, and that's the message that I took away from this story. Whether you're gay, straight or bisexual, there will always be people out there who try to put you down, and for whatever reason it might be, you have to overcome it. Be proud of who you are, and stick to what you feel -- after all, it'd be a boring world if we were all the same.

4 comments:

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Great review! This sounds like a great book that'll make you think.

Luisa said...

Great review! I love the sound of this book.

Amy said...

I liked this one too! Kind of graphic in parts ) ;) but that kind of made me like it more-it wasn't censored. great review btw!

Anonymous said...

You might enjoy Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden as well. It deals with the same sort of themes, but it was written during 1982 when it wasn't really acceptable to be different.