The Vast Fields of Ordinary

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From a raw and stunning new voice in gay teen literature comes a debut novel. During his last summer at home, Dade meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid and falls in love. But just when true happiness sets in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer.

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apollo

Nov 19, 2009

a valid and compelling vision

Writing about teenagers is difficult. The tricky part is voicing it correctly--making the teenagers sound like themselves, and making the adults also talk like adults, meanwhile not having the intrusion of the author. Burd succeeds magnificently in this respect, and deserves special congratulations. The situations and people were believable, and one quickly became involved with them. A nice absence of effect-for-the-sake-of-effect, or of dire events for the sake of drama. Most lives do work out OK, don't they, despite some problems, often severe ones? Burd sees this, and the book rates high on believability. Good writing, too--a nice balance between needed detail and central issues. Not pretentiously arty, as Spanbauer or Mordden can be. Wonderfully real and humane, but not without some of the precariousness of being a teenager.

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