Sunday, October 11, 2009

Magic and Misery Peter Marino

Magic and Misery by Peter Marino - 17 T.J. lives in a small town and she quickly notices James (Pan), the new kid. Pan is the beautiful and T.J. who has never had a boyfriend can't help but notice. There relationship begins thanks to a shared birthday. T.J. hopes of the two dating are dashed when Pan announces in one of their classes he is gay. From the beginning the two have an easy, believable friendship. I loved their natural banter. T.J. loves her friendship with Pan but still wants a boyfriend. She is surprised and happy when Caspar a football player ask her out. Caspar is sweet and quiet. Only speaking when he's thought it all out first. When the two begin dating T.J. must balance her time between Pan and Caspar. Yes, Pan is gay but in no way is this a coming out story. His parents already know and accept his sexuality. When T.J. starts dating she ask, Pan for advice because he is the experienced one. At school T.J. worries about Pan's safety when two football players begin harassing him. T.J. does tries to get Pan to report them but he won't. It finally escalates to an incident off school grounds that's horrible but sadly very believable.

I loved Magic and Misery. Its a beautiful multi layered story. There were so many other things I could mention, like Pan's relationship with T.J.'s mom. Or the talk of safe sex. Or when Pan, T.J. and Caspar all hanging out together.

Marino's writing is wonderful. I love when I can't see the effort behind the words. The story simply unfolding like the words were meant to be together. Every sentence and paragraph serving a purpose.

The cover isn't very appealing and doesn't do the book enough justice. Based on cover alone I would've missed out on a wonderful story. Ages 14up


Color Online said...

Gotta check this out!


Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thanks for including this book. TJ is really a model ally, something that's important to have when confronting oppression or struggling for justice.

Bam-Bam said...

I loved the review! Did you time it for the Matthew Shepard anniversary? Now I have to read it to see what happens to Pan!

Doret said...

Must google Matthew Shepard, though the name does sound familiar.