Customer Reviews for

Geography Club

Average Rating 4.5
( 150 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the ...
Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the attraction he feels toward them is something he'll outgrow--or maybe not.

While surfing the Internet one night, he finds chat rooms for different towns and cities, where you can talk to other people who are also gay. And amazingly enough, there's a boy he meets with the name GayTeen-- who not only lives in his town, but also attends his high school. Another gay boy, in his very own school? There's no way that could be true-- especially when he finds out that the kid with the handle GayTeen is none other than Kevin Land, star of the baseball team, one of the most popular guys in school.

As Kevin and Russel get to know one another, outside of school and hidden away from prying eyes, they realize that there's no way for them to be together inside school walls. The same is true for Russel's friends Min and Terese, who although they claim to just be really close friends, are actually in love. So along with a few others, including Gunnar, who is straight, and Brian Bund, the loser of Goodkind High School, the boys form The Geography Club. After all, no one else is going to want to join such a boring club--especially if they knew it was just a front for a gay/ lesbian school group.

As events at school heat up, with Brian eventually being outed as gay even though he's not, Russel, Kevin, and their friends will have to learn what's most important in life. And that sometimes, no matter how much you might wish for things to be out in the open, you're just not ready.

GEOGRAPHY CLUB is a great, quick read from author Brent Hartinger, about the ups and downs of daily high school life, and the struggle to find ones identity.

posted by TeensReadToo on October 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful

Russel Middlebrook believes that he is the only gay teenager at his High School. However, he finds that a popular baseball player, Kevin, is also gay and there are more than just a few gay teenagers at his High School. In an attempt to share secret struggles and find ne...
Russel Middlebrook believes that he is the only gay teenager at his High School. However, he finds that a popular baseball player, Kevin, is also gay and there are more than just a few gay teenagers at his High School. In an attempt to share secret struggles and find new friends, they create a school group under the title of The Geography Club. At the same time, Russel helps out his friend by going on a double date with a girl. Believing that this would only be a one time thing, Russel feels pressure by his friend to go on another double date. Russel also joins the school's baseball team, secretly to be close to Kevin, but finds he is actually quite good and even wins his first game for the team. Soon after Russel's new found popularity a rumor is spread that he is gay and has started a gay club. Not only is Russel's popularity in jeopardy, but so are old and new friendships, as well as his secret of being gay.

It was very refreshing to read a novel by a male and the main character is male. This does not seem to be very common to do this in young adult literature. However, this book was very disappointing. I came into this book with high hopes but found the characters to be a bit flat. For example, Russel states that he is struggling as a gay teenager but the conflicting and painful emotion was very absent. It would have been nice to read more about Russel's feelings and struggles. However, as this is the first book in a series, I will read the next book(s), The Order of the Poison Oak, to see how Hartinger grows as an author, as he himself is a Gay author.

posted by PatriciaJL on February 14, 2011

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the attraction he feels toward them is something he'll outgrow--or maybe not. <BR/><BR/>While surfing the Internet one night, he finds chat rooms for different towns and cities, where you can talk to other people who are also gay. And amazingly enough, there's a boy he meets with the name GayTeen-- who not only lives in his town, but also attends his high school. Another gay boy, in his very own school? There's no way that could be true-- especially when he finds out that the kid with the handle GayTeen is none other than Kevin Land, star of the baseball team, one of the most popular guys in school. <BR/><BR/>As Kevin and Russel get to know one another, outside of school and hidden away from prying eyes, they realize that there's no way for them to be together inside school walls. The same is true for Russel's friends Min and Terese, who although they claim to just be really close friends, are actually in love. So along with a few others, including Gunnar, who is straight, and Brian Bund, the loser of Goodkind High School, the boys form The Geography Club. After all, no one else is going to want to join such a boring club--especially if they knew it was just a front for a gay/ lesbian school group. <BR/><BR/>As events at school heat up, with Brian eventually being outed as gay even though he's not, Russel, Kevin, and their friends will have to learn what's most important in life. And that sometimes, no matter how much you might wish for things to be out in the open, you're just not ready. <BR/><BR/>GEOGRAPHY CLUB is a great, quick read from author Brent Hartinger, about the ups and downs of daily high school life, and the struggle to find ones identity.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    Freakin' Amazing

    I read this one a while ago and I absolutely adored it. It's an amazing story of a group of students growing up, learning to love, and accepting themselves. This book is definitely a must-read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Wonderful

    Russel Middlebrook believes that he is the only gay teenager at his High School. However, he finds that a popular baseball player, Kevin, is also gay and there are more than just a few gay teenagers at his High School. In an attempt to share secret struggles and find new friends, they create a school group under the title of The Geography Club. At the same time, Russel helps out his friend by going on a double date with a girl. Believing that this would only be a one time thing, Russel feels pressure by his friend to go on another double date. Russel also joins the school's baseball team, secretly to be close to Kevin, but finds he is actually quite good and even wins his first game for the team. Soon after Russel's new found popularity a rumor is spread that he is gay and has started a gay club. Not only is Russel's popularity in jeopardy, but so are old and new friendships, as well as his secret of being gay.

    It was very refreshing to read a novel by a male and the main character is male. This does not seem to be very common to do this in young adult literature. However, this book was very disappointing. I came into this book with high hopes but found the characters to be a bit flat. For example, Russel states that he is struggling as a gay teenager but the conflicting and painful emotion was very absent. It would have been nice to read more about Russel's feelings and struggles. However, as this is the first book in a series, I will read the next book(s), The Order of the Poison Oak, to see how Hartinger grows as an author, as he himself is a Gay author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    Good, but predictable

    Read it in one day. It was good, but predictable. I liked it and would recommend it to any teen.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2005

    You'll love it!

    This books amazing! I finished it the same day that I got it-- when you're reading it you get a mixture of emotions. As humans we want things to work out like we want them to, but sometimes they dont. We see the world in one form while others on the other hand dont, this books make me relize that as much as one would want something to happened other people may want something else. But, one needs to always make a choice and if it means losing the love of your dreams or even youre friends to make your self feel good them sometimes its worth it. The ending made me cry -blushing- we think that every ending is a happy ending, but sometimes it doesnt and its ok as long as we know it can get better from there on. I would tell everyone to read this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2005

    FANTABULOUS BOOK!!!

    I cannot say enough about this book. As a professional educator and soon to be school counselor, I wish it were required reading in every school. (Okay, back to reality for me.) The characters in this book are real people we all know and love. I hope Hartinger, the author, keeps up the great work and continues to bring Russ, et al to life in more of his work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    I loved this book

    I thought it was funny and sad. I fell completely in love with Russell. Everyone should read this book! It shows life as a high school student, feeling like an outsider, which gay or straight anyone can relate to.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    Good book!

    I loved this book! It made me feel all sorts of emotions. From happy- I actually loled a few times- to sadness. The endign was not what I was expecting/or hoping for. However, it was a great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Excitement, Understandable, Helpful and Love able. Not everything in the world turns out like you want it to.! Must read to find out.!!!

    I just finished the book Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. Let me just tell you that this book is now one of my favorite G.L.B.T book ever! This book actually taught me a lot of things and I could make connections with the book. This is a book shows a bound of friendship, finding out who you are not what other people think or may want you to be and nothing works as humans want it to work. Brent Hartinger really knows how to write a creative scene. With his great word and use of vocabulary it makes you want to keep reading more and more. Of course thats how I felt once I started reading. I couldn't put the book down. I even read it out loud to my best friend and she loved it too. When I was reading the book to my friend just kept telling me to read it to her she liked how the author how they described the characters. She said that the characters were insecure of himself and didn't want to do anything with being gay. She now has her hands on the book. With this book it is hard not to make connections. We made a connection with the Queer as Folk with the characters Brian and Justin. One of them wanted to be together like Justin and Russel have a lot of things in common but so does Brian and Kevin. They feel like being together with the person does not go along with them. So it is a very twisted story that would be great for anyone to read ans focus on real life problems. I would consider me more like Russel, In the book Geography Club it showed me that when it comes to friendships you do anything and thats what me and Russel have in common. Also in finding out who you are not trying to be someone your not. Now Russel Is gay and doesn't want no one to know. He becomes a popular kid at school but, he turns the cards around now he is the bully something he never wanted . See me and Russel are alike in so many ways but I would do more for my friends than for me. Now in this book love is one of the major problems Russel is looking, he finds, and he lets go. This might be wired but thats life. Same goes for me. Like I said this book teaches me things that I couldn't teach myself. Like finally accepting who I am and having enough courage and standing up for . me, myself and I.
    This is a must read book . You would be surprised of what you can learn about life and everyone around you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    this was defiantly an all around good book!

    I would put this in a high school humor section of reading. It was obviously written for teenagers. The book started off about a teenagers that goes to an average American high school With the jocks, Gothic, punk, preps and the losers. Well he mainly fell under the loser section that many people did not talk to or even notice. Well for Russel this was all going to change. Almost every night he would go on the computer and chat with people online. They were chat websites for gay people, and one night he saw one in his hometown. he brought it up and there was a guy in there. Well to Russel this sounded to good to be true so he asked that mysterious person a few questions. Like what they had for lunch that day and some of the people that were in his class. Sure enough this person was real. So they met up at this park that night, and had one of the most awkward and long talks they would ever both have. The funny thing about the whole part was the mysterious boy was Kevin Land, one of the biggest jocks at they're school. He soon comes out of the closet to his best friend Lin and finds out shes a lesbian and has had a girlfriend for about 3 years and he had never knew that. Later on in the story they start a club called the "Geography Club". They decide they are going to meet up and talk about there experiences and thoughts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2006

    Amazing Book

    The story of a gay boy and how he deals, this is my favorite boook of all time. Written in Russel Middlebrook's point of view, it makes you feel as if all people were gay... THere really is nothing wrong about being Bisexual.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    Pretty good

    If you're into the gay teen genre then this is probably a good read. Its short and has a pretty good messege but really overall I felt that it was something of a clone of other gayteen books I'd read, and not as good of a one at that. Don't get me wrong, the basic story is tried and true, a teenager discovering hismself in the world and learning to respect everyone but there are frankly better books on the subject. Another thing that I suppose could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it, is the overly simple language of the book. It would seem like its written for a fourth grader if the themes weren't at a teen level. This was annoying to me but its rare to find a book that can get to the point and I suppose it achieved that. I recommend it for gay teen book junkies, anyone who's ever had a secret or someone looking for a good quick read. I've also seen that there's a sequel out so that should be good.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2006

    IT'S GREAT!!!

    I loved this book, I read it with in the day. I couldn't put it down. This book is a great page turner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the attraction he feels toward them is something he'll outgrow--or maybe not. While surfing the Internet one night, he finds chat rooms for different towns and cities, where you can talk to other people who are also gay. And amazingly enough, there's a boy he meets with the name GayTeen-- who not only lives in his town, but also attends his high school. Another gay boy, in his very own school? There's no way that could be true-- especially when he finds out that the kid with the handle GayTeen is none other than Kevin Land, star of the baseball team, one of the most popular guys in school. As Kevin and Russel get to know one another, outside of school and hidden away from prying eyes, they realize that there's no way for them to be together inside school walls. The same is true for Russel's friends Min and Terese, who although they claim to just be really close friends, are actually in love. So along with a few others, including Gunnar, who is straight, and Brian Bund, the loser of Goodkind High School, the boys form The Geography Club. After all, no one else is going to want to join such a boring club--especially if they knew it was just a front for a gay/ lesbian school group. As events at school heat up, with Brian eventually being outed as gay even though he's not, Russel, Kevin, and their friends will have to learn what's most important in life. And that sometimes, no matter how much you might wish for things to be out in the open, you're just not ready. GEOGRAPHY CLUB is a great, quick read from author Brent Hartinger, about the ups and downs of daily high school life, and the struggle to find ones identity.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    Great Book

    I liked the book,because it was a really fast read and It was really interesting. You could never put it down when you opended the book. I would Highly recomended this book to young teens.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    Its Tells the truth

    its it a really good boook it explains how highschool is like for gay and lesbian teens who go to a high school where gay kids are ridiculed and ect. i go to high school were if your gay your gay your o different then the next person. everyone doesn't get phased by all the gay kids in our school its just normal.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    SEXELLENT

    purely awesome, nothinf less than amazeing i finished the book today and i LOVED it is was so real, so true...ever so true!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2005

    Entrancing

    I really must say, I was surprised at how much I liked this book. It's the first book that I really felt that I could connect with. I felt like everything Russel was going through was a lot like some of the things I am. I think any person could find some part of this story to relate to, which is why it's such a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    truth

    this story was amazing . it showed the true feeling you feel , it also was belivable which make it easy to fall in love with the great charactors. i can't wait to read order of poison oak whcih is a sequel to this amazing heart warming story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    Loved This Book

    I thought it was great. Everything seemed to flow and all of the characters stayed themselves thoughout the whole story. There was a plot and it was great. This book really showed you what Russ is going through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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