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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Stepping Up to the Plate by J.M. Snyder

This story is often raw, sometimes dreary and even heartbreaking at times; ultimately though it is anything but. There's a lot wrong in Stacy's life ~ worst of all, in his opinion, is his name. He's also white in an area where he's definitely in the minority... and he's gay. All this is at the root of his problems... he's definitely on the outside looking in and those on the inside, they're just happy to make him miserable.
Being 16 is bad enough, but being different is death in high school.

Trying to change this leads Stacy to the discovery that life in the 'real' world isn't much better.

Watching as Stacy deals with, or not, and strives to come to terms with a life that is going nowhere fast is sometimes very difficult, certainly it's heartrending. But there are a couple of people in his life that provide him with a tenuous, but important, support: his mother and his friend, and crush, Ange. There's no magic wand, no sudden breakthrough; but there is a glimmer of hope that grows as the story progresses. Stacy's not the boy next door ~ he's been fighting against others for so long that he no longer knows how to let people in. But finding himself enrolled in a GED course is the beginning. And while we often struggle along with Stacy, being there, watching as things begin to happen... that's the beauty and magic in this story.

If you're looking for a romp, this is not the book for you. But if you enjoy an excellent story that will leave you feeling good at the end, then give this a try. You will definitely find it worth your while!


J.M. Snyder; Stepping Up to the Plate; Lulu Press; 2006 [110K]

At 16, Stacy Evans dropped out of high school in the hopes of moving on with his life. But four years later, he's stuck in an abusive relationship with Lamar, a "friend with benefits," and works long hours at a dead-end job just to get by.
Then his mother enrolls him in a program to earn his GED. There he meets Darian, a woodshop teacher who is everything Stacy's friends are not -- smart, successful .. and who seems to take a personal interest in helping Stacy turn his life around.
The two develop a rapport that keeps Stacy after school just to spend extra time with him. In intimate moments alone, they grow closer than just student and teacher.
On the right track for once, Stacy has a chance to choose between his troublesome past and a promising future with Darian.  But his jealous friends won't let him go so easily.

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