Author: Madison Parker
Genre: Young Adult
Length: Short (55 Pages)
Publisher: Madison Parker (Amazon)
Heat Level: None
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Ryan is assigned to Jamie Peterson for his class’s secret gift exchange. If word gets out that he has to make a handcrafted gift for flamboyant and openly gay Jamie, Ryan will be the laughing-stock of the school. It’s a good thing no self-respecting boy would be caught dead in a craft store, because otherwise he’d be at risk of being spotted when his mom drags him to her weekly craft workshops. He hopes Jamie will appreciate all the trouble he’s going to for this assignment. Finding the perfect gift is gunna be tricky. Jamie deserves something good, though, after all the crap he has to put up with at school. At least, Ryan tells himself that’s the reason he’s putting so much thought into the gift. It couldn’t be that he has feelings for Jamie, could it?
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A6JN95I
Review: Ryan is a closeted gay teen who has been living in the shadows all his life. In high school, he keeps hiding because he fears the retribution of his peers, since being gay is not acceptable by them. He tries to go under the radar and live a normal life, like everyone else. Jamie Peterson is the opposite of Ryan. He is the most flamboyant gay kid in school. His sexual orientation makes him the center of every joke and prank by his classmates. When Mrs. Keats assigns Jamie for Ryan’s secret Santa gift exchange program, their paths intercept and we get to see a new side of these two boys.
I love Ryan. He is a normal gay kid trying to survive an environment where being gay is totally unacceptable and lands you a spot on the hot seat. He has to hide who he is in order not to be the center of brutal jokes. When he has to make three gifts for Jamie for the secret Santa gift exchange program, he begins to let loose and gets to know the flamboyant boy. Jamie was as sweet as sugar. Even though he was the center of attacks by his classmates, he did not let them get to him. The kid fought back. That was something that Ryan could not do. He could not come out as a gay kid and tell the world to screw off. After following Jamie around, he falls in love with him. Yes, he messes up sometimes, but he quickly does something that makes you continue loving him. I loved the ending since Ryan got the courage to tell everyone how much he loves Jamie and what he means sot him.
This is one of the sweetest and shortest stories that I have ever read and I hope that there is a sequel to it because I want to read more about these two characters. Madison Parker is a fresh voice to the writing community and I know that great things will come her way if she continues writing sweet little stories with happy endings. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to treat their eyes with a loving story about love, acceptance and courage for this Christmas season.