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Geography Club
     

Geography Club

4.3 154
by Brent Hartinger
 

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Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Goodkind High School.

Then his online gay chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school's baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students, too. There's his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer–playing girlfriend Terese.

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Geography Club 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
PatriciaJL More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Irving_Peralta More than 1 year ago
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.
deanb More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read it in one day. It was good, but predictable. I liked it and would recommend it to any teen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it was a good fun book, with a lot of laughs. It is really hard as a gay teen (special in a rural area) to find anyone to relate to. But this book conveys that I am not alone. I love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is one of the best books that i have read. it has conflict mixed with love. i recommend this book to anyone that feels lonely or unsure of themself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome i read i in like 3 or 4 hours. This is a book I think everyone should read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Russell Middlebrook, a witty and remarkably frank high school sophomore is the narrator and protagonist of Brent Hartinger¿s, GEOGRAPHY CLUB. Russell¿s is a believably fresh and quirky voice, shining like a lighthouse beacon, in an ocean of gay coming out material. Quite possibly the most popular genre in ¿Gay Lit¿ today, the, ¿coming-of-age novel,¿ dominates the Queer shelves. Unfortunately these offerings tend to be overly romanticized and just plain sappy. GEOGRAPHY CLUB is anything but. No, this is a book with real teeth and a sharp bite. This novel has more than its fair share of reality checks, yet humor and hope are never sacrificed to the standard teenage cynicism of the stories tone. Russell is gay and firmly embedded in the closet. He¿s not one of the popular kids, but he¿s not a social pariah either. Along with his friends Min and Gunnar, Russell manages to stay within the ¿borderland of respectability,¿ at Goodkind High School. Russell thinks he¿s the only gay person in school, so he only confesses his sexuality on the internet. One night he discovers another gay teen from his high school in a chat room and the two agree to meet. ¿GayTeen¿ turns out to be Kevin Land, a hunky jock and star of the baseball team. Russell is more than a little flabbergasted. After the initial shock wears off, the two boys agree to confide in one another about their mutual concerns. Russell, so excited he can barely contain himself, decides to risk all and tell his best friend Min about the rendezvous. Much to his surprise Min reveals her bisexual nature to him. Before you know it, five gay teens (Min has a girlfriend and she¿s got a friend) are meeting for pizza and discovering that they are not alone, but how can they continue meeting without their secret being uncovered? They decide to form a school club so boring that no one will join, thus allowing them to meet on a twice weekly basis. The Geography Club is born. All goes swimmingly until a rumor about a gay teen sweeps the school, and the GC members start to get exceedingly nervous. Is the jig up for the closet club or will eyes be focused on Brian Bund, the schools number one outcast and overwhelming recipient of the worst kind of teasing teenagers are capable of? Through the voice of Russell, Hartinger provides his readers with an amazingly accurate picture of what gay high school life is like today. Russell talks directly to us as if we were right there with him, shooting the breeze in the school cafeteria. He is cocky, unsure, comical, frightened and sincere, all at the same time. We get excited with him when he talks about his budding romance with Kevin, and how he joins the baseball team to be near him, and we hurt for him when fate plays an awful joke and his life is temporarily shattered. This is a kid¿s world and we¿re told about it by a gay kid. Adults play next to no role here. The story is thought provoking and wonderfully entertaining, proving the incredible highs and lows of adolescence stay unchanged from generation to generation. I can not end this review without returning once more to the character of Brian Bund. Everyone who ever attended an American high school remembers a Brian or two. Those horribly mistreated outsiders who bore their lot with quiet dignity. Hartinger obviously remembered as well. His respectful portrait of this incredibly noble individual stands amongst the finest in contemporary gay fiction. I am unquestionably impressed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Russel Middlebrook is a 16 year old high school sophomore hiding a big secret: he¿s gay. He keeps a low profile because he doesn¿t want to be treated like the school outcast and scapegoat Brian Bund upon whom all manner of dirty tricks and teenage cruelties are visited. Instead, Russel spends his time with Gunnar and Min, a guy and girl known for their brains, but who are also ¿occasional visitors to the border region of high school respectability¿ (p. 6). Russel is not eager to leave that border. Ever.####### By a fluke Russel learns that another student is also gay, and he embarks upon that universally heady, intense journey where falling in love seems oh-so-right. He joins the baseball team to be with his boyfriend¿even hits a home run¿and suddenly he¿s living in the Land of the Popular. But he also meets some other kids who are gay and lonely. They have an inspiration to start a gay/lesbian support group, but in order to keep out those who would mock and exile them, they call it Geography Club. Unfortunately, the secret does not stay confidential, and the fallout is more than Russel thinks he can bear. Will he choose to take the coward¿s way out? Or can he stand up to the ignorant people all around? ####### With a light touch and a sense of humor, Hartinger tells a very serious story, one that is being played out in high schools across the country. With unerring accuracy, he depicts the isolation and fear first of one young man, then of a small group, and he reveals the courage and support it takes for any gay or lesbian high school student to stand up to the crowd. By the end of this novel, I had tears in my eyes. The story is moving, the characters are classic, and the discoveries Russel makes are ones that both high schoolers and adults should all learn. Highly recommended. ~
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brent Hartingers book, Geography Club, was not like your typical highschool drama. It is a book about a group of unlikely friends, who have a common bond and form a club where they can share and relate upon their feeling about being gay. But because of the conservative school to which they belong the must conceal their desire to start a gsa, they call thier new formed club the 'geography club'. This book is intertwined with a romance between the narrator and the all american base ball player, which has its ups and downs. Geography Club is beautifully written, with passages that everyone can relate to, gay or straight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A truly amazing and inspirational story for any teen who has ever felt different (or any parents who need to understand). The gay character's convictions and lessons learned are lessons for us all. Wonderful...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this in just about one sitting - it was incredibly good. The characters seemed real. I want Kevin. The way Brent described him was the way I found the attractive side in guys. Anyway, I just about shed twenty tears for how close I felt the story to myself and my own experiences. Coming out is such a terrifying, spot-lighted feeling. Only do it when you don't care about anything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful for gay and straight readers alike. Hartinger's characters are so real and the more I read the more I felt that I was living the story along with them. Thank you, Michael, for giving gay youth hope and for educating all humans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an unfaltering, entirely absorbing book. Each of the characters endearing and identifiable in their own special way, but the tenitive, undeniably charming narration of Russel Middlebrook is what makes this book really shine. I'd strongly endorse this book to anyone. In fact, I'd make it manditory reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book which I couldn't put down. This is an inspiring book about kids who act normal in the crowd yet feel like an imposter in their own hearts... A magnificant book which truly touched my heart... Any gay teen or adult for that matter could greatly relate with this book as well as any other person. To put it into summmery is hard, but it made me laugh it made me feel sympathy and I just have to say you must get it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book at 2 in the afternoon, four day before my twenty-first birthday. I finished this book at five (I had to eat dinner!). Yes, it is that good. I am a senior in college and luckily I don't have to worry about being gay at school anymore. However, in high school, it was a war everyday. It is just so funny how things unfold in this book becuase I can relate to so many of them. My brush with popularity, the secrets being told behind my back, even the running away from the girl who wants to have sex with you. I loved this book. But I think one of the best parts about it, is that you don't have to be gay to enjoy it. You can take anything that I young adult gets made fun of in high school and insert it into this book. But what it does show you, even if just briefly, is the thought process and hardships that a young, gay person goes through. I think my only complaint is that the book should be longer. I didn't want it to end. I know that sounds horribly tacky, but I didn't. I felt like I bonded with everyone in the book. And I think you will, too, if you read it. And yes... I cried. How sterotypical, right?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even if you are straight, this book really realates to what all teenagers go through. Trying to hide secrets from friends is difficult, even if you know that they are a trustworthy person. This book was funny and I recommend it to anyone.