Author: Jennifer Lavoie
Title: Andy Squared
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 18th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Seventeen-year-old twins, Andrew and Andrea Morris, have always been close. They share everything—from their friends to a room—and they both enjoy star positions on their high school’s soccer teams. All’s right with the twins...or is it?
When new student Ryder Coltrane moves from Texas to their small New York town, he spins Andrew’s world upside down. All of Andrew’s past relationship troubles begin to make sense and his true feelings start to click into place after Ryder comes out to him. His friendship with Ryder turns secretively romantic, but secrets, they soon find out, are hard to keep. Once rumors start to fly, so-called friends turn on them, and the boys’ relationship turns into a bomb about to explode. But Andrew never expected it would be his own twin, Andrea, holding a lighter to ignite it” GoodReads’ blurb
You know that, from time to time, I wander into the topic of this book in search of a compelling, moving, real story. I’m usually left wanting, but, and this is the big BUT, not this time!
Andy Squared was a sweet, tender love story that I completely fell for. The characters, as usual, did most of the job for me: the way Andy started to accept himself and to accept his feelings was gradual and easy to believe. I also enjoyed his relationship with his twin, the other Andy, which starts out great and then turns out all kinds of... wrong.
Actually, the fact that she refused to let him follow his own path turned the focus from me: from a coming out story, to a “be whoever you need to be” story. This added value, because I think the message needs to be out there, and it needs to get out there without being heavy-handed. It needs to speak for itself, if you know what I mean, and that’s what happens here.
Then again, things were a little convenient. Andy (the male Andy) found supporting people along the way. There were nasty situations, but it was mostly a single situation, the climax of the conflict both for his sexuality and his self-assertion as an individual different than his sister, and it got fixed without all the drama I’d expect in a community like the one in the book. Both Andys mend their differences, and that part read much too easy for my taste (damaged relationships don’t go back to normal just with a smile, I believe).
But it worked for me, because the important thing here is the message, the symbolism and the motif behind it all. Andy Squared was a fast, cute, book I’d recommend to anyone who needs to remember that we have a responsibility towards ourselves: the responsibility to be who we are, who no one but us can be, and to reach for happiness.
I’ll be reading more from this author, and I’ll also be checking out more titles from this pub house because I think they’re in the right track here. You might want to check them out too!