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Whatever: A Great Book for the Aftermath of the Holiday Season

Marlena Astorga
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Whatever

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

In the downtime that comes before and after Christmas many of us spend that time preparing for the next holiday get together, bemoaning our broken diets and trying to find a moment to relax. My moment came when, after the long preparations of the holidays were through, I picked up S.J. Goslee’s book, Whatever.

This is the story of Mike Tate’s junior year during which he learns that the best-laid plans don’t always work out. Mike is your average teenaged guy. He is well-liked, has a cute girlfriend and is in a garage band. Mike also has his share of troubles in the form of his boyhood rival/bully Rook Wallace. Nevertheless, all is seemingly great for Mike until his girlfriend, Lisa, dumps him. To Lisa’s surprise Mike takes the breakup a little hard, and as they discuss it she asks him if he ever considered the possibility he might be bi-sexual or gay. With this Mike is thrown into a whirlwind of self-discovery aided by Lisa, his motley crew of friends, family, and of all people- Rook Wallace. This is a truly touching and hilarious story about crushes, friendship, and the difficulties of coping with change.    

I loved this story for numerous reasons, but first and foremost because the character was able to figure himself out with the support of his family and friends. Far too often stories of people coming out involve a lot of heartbreak, rejection, and tears. They mirror the difficulties that many of the LGBTQ community have actually faced. This novel demonstrates the strength that comes from offering love and unconditional support to one who needs it. Moreover, the shenanigans that happen when Mike’s grandmother is involved are too good to pass up. Whatever is a welcome and refreshing respite from holiday stress, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Whatever by S.J. Goslee is available at your local Houston Public Library now. 

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