Destination Unknown

Scholastic Audio. Sept. 2022. 805p. $74.99. ISBN 9781338852561.
Gr 9 Up–Konigsberg reunites with Cross, five years after Openly Straight, for another heartening love story involving two dissimilar teens. In September 1987, the AIDS epidemic is claiming too many young men’s lives. Seventeen-year-old Micah is gay but he’s only out to his best friend Deena until he meets C.J. at a Manhattan club, sporting a plexiglass bra—so openly gay as to enthrall closeted Micah. They’re only a year apart, but Cross deftly imbues Micah with a wide-eyed sheltered innocence while adroitly reflecting C.J.’s weary worldliness. Their evolving relationship will face many, many challenges. When he isn’t lying, C.J. will teach Micah about agency and activism, from protests and die-ins to nurturing the suffering. The epilogue proves absolutely sigh-inducing. Konigsberg solemnly reads his autobiographical ending author’s note.
VERDICT Set in 1987 makes this historical fiction, but Konigsberg and Cross ensure a timeless tale.

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