And the award for best supporting ensemble goes to… this book.
Rafe has been described and discussed in many other reviews. I can’t add much to what’s been said except that I really enjoyed him for his fresh sense of humour, even if he was a little too clever for his own good at times.
I totally got why he embarked on the journey that he did, wanting to shed a piece of his identity that seemed to overshadow everything he was, or perceived to be. I can’t imagine what it felt like for him to feel solely judged by others based on his sexual preference. But I can relate to over thinking things and reading more into what others may say and do than is probably accurate.
I adored Rafe’s parents, they were so wonderfully supportive and kooky. I loved their over the top approach to everything, even if it did sometimes border on fanatical. “Hey. You’re gonna be a rock star here, Rafe” he whispered into my ear.
They try so hard to be perfectly supportive and understanding parents to Rafe, but often just miss the mark completely. In that way parents so often do. But instead I got a pile of books from Mom, and now it was like I had gay homework from my mother. I was like, thanks for making this exciting new thing a chore, Mom. Awesome.
Rafe has equally quirky friends at school too. Albie and Toby were the standouts and will be remembered for starring in one of the most entertaining scenes in the book for me: the apple picking adventure. “Stop” Toby said, once he recovered and went back into character again. “You’re killing our reputation as gang members. We’re the toughest gang in this entire apple orchard, and you can’t show weakness.”
“Yeah but what does our gang do?” Ben asked. “We maintain order among the different apple breeds”, Toby explained. “We make sure the Jonathons and McIntoshes don’t get into it”.
Rafe’s ruse often became frustrating. I was hoping he’d fess up a lot earlier than he did. “But since I was supposedly straight, I had to watch what I said so that I wasn’t (a) too knowledgeable about gay things or (b) insulting to gays. It was exhausting.”
For you and me both buddy.
I’d recommend this book for the laughs alone. I haven’t chuckled so much through a book in a while. He frowned, put his hand over his face, and then removed them to display a smile.
“Hi, you must be Rafe, my athletic new roommate.”
I shook his hand. “And you must be Albie, my unorganised new roommate.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“I don’t feel the urge to clean up this horrendous mess at all. And, by the way, great poster. I love that show,” I said.
“Let’s go play some sports”, he said.