Reviews

Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) – LC Rosen

Couldn’t get enough of Love, Simon or The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue?

About the book:  

‘My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.’

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time.

His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy.

Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating.

They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

My Review:  Quick recap:  my 16 year old son recently “came out” loud and proud and having seen Love, Simon at the cinema with him earlier this year I jumped at the chance to read this book when it appeared on Netgalley.  He’s NOT a reader like me (I would consider disowning him just for that (joke)), but I never shy away from a challenge and may have mentioned this book to him 5 or 10 times, even getting in contact with the publisher to arrange for a paperback copy as he doesn’t read on a kindle.  Eventually he took the bait and said “why don’t we read it together on your kindle until my paperback copy arrives?”.  Cue some very awkward bedtime reading and I dread to think what my neighbours thought if they could hear my 16 year old reading out loud some of this book to his middle aged mum.

Once the paperback copy (with stunning matching fan) arrived my son decided he was going to go and read it alone and left me to finish the book on my kindle so here are my thoughts:

Jack Rothman is a fascinating character.  He’s confident, sassy, intelligent, loyal to his friends, popular and very sure of himself.  He’s a credit to his single, working mum, a sensitive and caring friend and let’s not forget his sense of style, great sense of humour and love for all things glittery.   He is also really, really, really into casual sex and doesn’t care who gossips about him.

When his best friend Jenna asks him to write an anonymous sexual advice column on her website he, begrudgingly at first, agrees and using his frank and often brutally honest replies elevates his status to “super star” within the school.  This, however, brings the unwanted and scary attention of a stalker who initially appears harmless but then starts threatening Jack, his family and friends.  Now Jack is on a mission to catch his stalker and get back to partying.

This book is aimed primarily at the LGBTQIA Teen market and I am pretty sure this will appeal to both boys and girls, straight or gay as there are so many important messages within this book.  However, it is also bound to get a lot of negative reviews and possibly upset a few people because it’s so graphic in places and as a mum I found it both “eye opening” and “eye watering” at the amount of casual sex Jack has.

To sum up my feelings here; this book is OUTRAGEOUSLY open, FANTASTICALLY frank, GLORIOUSLY gay, EFFERVESCENTLY educational, HEARTWARMINGLY  honest and BREATHTAKINGLY bold.

About the Author:

LEV AC ROSEN is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) is forthcoming in 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards.

Lev attended Oberlin College, where he majored in creative writing, and then Sarah Lawrence College, where he received his MFA in fiction. Just after graduating from Oberlin, his short story Painting was the inaugural piece for the ‘New Voices’ section of the renowned Esopus magazine. He has written articles for numerous blogs, including booklifenow and tor.com, and been interviewed by several magazines and blogs including Clarkesworld and USA Today.

Lev is originally from lower Manhattan and now lives in even lower Manhattan, right at the edge, with his husband and very small cat.

 

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