Monday, September 28, 2009
The Vast Fields of Ordinary--- Nick Burd
The Vast Fields of Ordinary is one of those stories that just makes your heart break... because when it comes down to it, all we really want out of existence is for people to be kind to us... and Dade doesn't get the kindness he deserves.
Dade is gay. He is in-the-closet mostly, but there are a few people in his life who know about his gayness. There's Pablo, the asshat jock stud dude who cruelly ridicules Dade in public, but has sex with him in private. And then there is also Lucy, the awesomely confident lesbian who is staying with her aunt for the summer. But really, to everyone else, Dade is the guy they all tease about being gay but aren't really sure that he is. Dade finds himself totally trapped by a world that does nothing for him and expects everything in return. But when he meets Alex Kinkaid and learns about what it's like to love and be loved, everything shifts for Dade. He doesn't want to be closeted, teased, or hurt by anyone anymore (especially his parents). And of course, now that he is finally experience true joy and freedom, Pablo won't leave him alone.
This book is truly moving, tragic, lonely, and lovely in some places. There is an underdeveloped storyline featuring a young girl who is abducted, and while I can see what Nick Burd was trying to do with it, I don't think he succeeds. Still, this is a great first novel, and I will happily read anything else he writes. I recommend this to older teens (because the characters in the book are just graduating high school).