We here at The Novel Approach are welcoming a very special guest reviewer to the blog today, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her here with us! Please allow me to introduce you to Savannah.
Savannah just so happens to be the daughter of our very own Jackie, so you can see where she gets not only her passion for reading but her budding passion for reviewing as well.
Savannah is twelve-years-old and will be entering the 6th grade in the fall. She likes science and math, and listens mostly to classic and alternative rock, counting AC/DC, Metallica, Black Veil Brides, Imagine Dragons, and Nickleback as a few of her favorite groups.
Sweet Savannah is a member of the generation I like to call the “Difference Makers”, because Jackie and her husband, like so many of us out there, are raising their children to know that Love Is Love, simple as that, and they will be the ones who make a difference going forward.
And now, it is my great pleasure to present to you her review of Jamie Mayfield’s Choices
My thoughts on “Choices” by Jamie Mayfield
The book starts with Brian sitting in church listening to the pastor of Jamie’s church talking about the evils of homosexuality. Brian has started to think of Jamie, his best friend, as more than just his friend. If what the Pastor said was true, then he was going to hell, and he didn’t like that. So after that sermon he decided to not spend so much time with Jamie so maybe his feelings would go away. When Jamie figured out what Brian was doing, he kissed Brian. It turns out that they both felt the same way about each other.
Once they realized that they loved each other they also realized something else. Because they live in a small town with a lot of people that would agree with the pastor, they had to keep it hidden. Jamie gets a girlfriend, Emma. Brian hates this, and he hates seeing them together, but he knows this will keep him and Jamie safe. Brian even went on a couple dates himself. When Brian gets very upset about Emma, Jamie takes him on a date, their first real date. It starts out weird for them, but then it ends nice for them. So they keep up with Jamie dating Emma, and he and Brian spend time together every chance they get.
When Brian turns 17, he and Jamie make love in their tree house on his birthday. The only bad part is they don’t wake up on time Sunday morning, and Jamie’s mother catches them sleeping in each others’ arms, naked. After a talk with the pastor does not work to keep the boys apart she makes Brian stay away and the next thing Brian knows, Jamie is moving away to California. When the boys are saying goodbye Emma sees them and that starts the end of an easy life for Brian. No Jamie, bullying at school, and eventually he ends up nearly dead at the hands of Emma’s brother and his friends.
While recovering from his injuries someone reports Brian’s foster dad for molesting Brian. He is taken away from his foster parents when he needs them the most. After having to do a lot of things that were embarrassing for Brian, and days spent at a group home, he finally got to go home with his foster parents. After he got home his, foster parents told him they got him signed up for martial arts. He had kept up his school work with the help of Mr. Barnes, his art teacher and his friend. The best news for Brian was he was getting adopted. That way no one could take him away again and he would have real parents.
Brian gets a job teaching at the dojo where he studies. He is happy because he can earn money to follow Jamie to California. His parents aren’t happy he is going, but they also understand they can’t stop him. But when he went to work at the dojo he made a new friend, Adam. They did karate together and got to be good friends. Brian found out Adam was gay too and that made him happy to have a friend that could understand all about how Brian felt. Adam got a crush on Brian and Brian liked him, but only as a friend, most of the time. He thought Adam was cute, but Brian was in love with Jamie and always would be.
Brian was confused for a while after that. He hadn’t heard from Jamie since he left. He didn’t know what that meant. So, he applied to college and got in. When he graduated from high school he realized that he had won. He beat all the people that hated him, he beat all the people that didn’t want him to be there. On his 18th birthday, after spending a fun day with Adam, he got a letter that changed everything. He finally heard from Jamie. The letter told him to go on with his life without Jamie. Brian couldn’t do that, he loved him. He decided right then and there college was not going to happen. He was going to California to find his love!
The book ends here and I can’t wait till July for the next one.
Now my mom says I need to tell you what I think about the book. :-)
I love this book because it tells the truth about how mean people can be and how nice they can be. I have been taught to love everyone, even the people that don’t like me. My mom says you can’t hate someone just because they don’t have common sense. It is hard sometimes, but I try to remember that when I get mad. I got mad a lot reading this book. At the beginning of the book it made me mad when the pastor said that being gay is a bad thing and you will go to hell. Mostly because it made Brian feel bad about himself and because it just isn’t true. I got mad at Jamie’s mom for how she treated Brian and Jamie. I got mad at Brad, Emma’s brother, because he hurt Brian. I don’t understand hating someone just because they love someone. The parts of this book that I liked were the good people in Brian’s life. He got a real mom and dad, and that was cool. He had Kyle and Coach Williams. Brian also had Adam. I felt bad for Adam, but I also don’t. I was rooting for Brian and Jamie, so I am kinda glad about how that turned out. I think what was the coolest part of this book is I can understand where Brian is coming from. If I was in love with a boy like Brian was, I would want to be with him no matter what anyone said. It isn’t fair that people tried to keep them apart. I also thought it was good to see Brian get stronger. I think that will help him stay safe and he deserves that.
I think kids should read these books if they are gay or if they are not. For gay kids, they can learn there is always someone that loves them no matter what. For the kids who aren’t gay, well, maybe they could see how bad they hurt people with their words. Even in 5th grade I heard people say “fag” and “homo”. We aren’t allowed to use words like that in my house and now I understand why. Words can hurt as much as hands or fists. So we should be careful how we use them.
Reviewed by: Savannah