FICTION

Social Intercourse

320p. S. & S. Jun. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481497817.
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Gr 9 Up—Beckett Gaines is an out and proud teen who is obsessed with The Golden Girls, singing, and losing his virginity. He flies under the radar as much as he can while being only one of two out gay students in his school in a small rural Southern town. He lives with his father after his mother mysteriously left the family. Jaxon Parker is the star quarterback of the high school football team, the envy of everyone in his school and town, and dating the head cheerleader. He lives with his two mothers who are experiencing relationship strife of their own. When one of Jax's moms suddenly starts dating Beck's father, Beck and Jax decide to put their differences aside and try to throw a wrench in the relationship before it creates issues for both of their families. As they work together on organizing their town's first Rainbow Prom, they encounter resistance, hate, and acceptance in various forms. The feelings Beck already has for Jax intensifies while Jax comes to terms with his own sexuality. Howard has crafted an amusing portrayal of life as an LGBTQ person in a small town. Sex is a very real thing to many of the characters; it is described in somewhat explicit and, at times, gratuitous detail. The voices of the characters and the dialogue often feel adult. Fans of Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda who are looking for something more mature will gravitate toward this story of unrequited first love.
VERDICT Purchase where stories of humorous family drama and relationships are popular.

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