Gemini Bites

( 5 )

Overview


One of the strangest (and funniest) love triangles ever to hit YA fiction, when a pair of twins (one boy, one girl) both fall for the boy who moves in with them…who may or may not be a vampire.

Judy and Kyle Renneker are sixteen-year-old fraternal twins in a rambling family of nine. They have a prickly history with each other and are, at least from Judy's perspective, constantly in fierce competition. Kyle has recently come out of the closet to his family and feels he might ...

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Overview


One of the strangest (and funniest) love triangles ever to hit YA fiction, when a pair of twins (one boy, one girl) both fall for the boy who moves in with them…who may or may not be a vampire.

Judy and Kyle Renneker are sixteen-year-old fraternal twins in a rambling family of nine. They have a prickly history with each other and are, at least from Judy's perspective, constantly in fierce competition. Kyle has recently come out of the closet to his family and feels he might never know what it's like to date a guy. Judy, who has a history of pretending to be something she isn't in order to get what she wants, is pretending to be born-again in order to land a boyfriend who heads his own bible study.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Add Ryan to the list of authors still finding fresh ways to keep vampire books immortal. Narrated by 16-year-old twins Kyle and Judy Renneker—who have recently announced they are gay (Kyle) and born-again (Judy)—Ryan's story smartly navigates romantic entanglements and sibling rivalry. Already overstuffed with seven children, the Renneker household is getting another addition: Kyle and Judy's classmate Garret Johnson, who will be staying with the family for a month before moving to San Diego with his parents. Oh, and pale, eyeliner-wearing, and oddly formal Garret claims he's a vampire, which Kyle starts to believe might be true (even as he acknowledges this isn't the sole reason Garret intrigues him). Garret's presence ratchets up Kyle and Judy's combative relationship, while a subplot involving a student who believes Garret is "evil" adds an undercurrent more unsettling than any potential vampirism. Writing with humor and empathy in equal measure, Ryan (In Mike We Trust) presents a touching gay romance as well as a pair of well-rounded and entertaining narrators who come to respect each other. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)
VOYA - Heather Pittman
Seventeen-year-old Judy and Kyle Renneker are twins who barely tolerate one another. Then a classmate, Garret Johnson, moves in with their large family and captivates each of them, intensifying their competitive relationship. Who will win the attentions of their mysterious housemate: Kyle, who is gay and out to his family and friends but who has never really dated, or Judy, a born-again Christian with a sharp tongue? Or should they both listen to the class weirdo, Ferris Coover, who claims that Garret is actually a vampire? This slim novel is told from the point of view of each twin in alternating chapters. The dialogue is crisp and current, especially the acerbic exchanges between the twins. Kyle, Judy, and Garret all face dilemmas about identity and the persona they present to the world. Kyle and Judy are finely drawn, with distinctive voices and personalities. Judy changes and grows throughout the story, showing excellent character development. The secrets surrounding Garret are insubstantial and make for a weak subplot, but the exploration of the relationships between the twins and their housemate make up for that. This is a particularly good book for students interested in gay characters. Kyle is accepted by his family and friends and is more secure in his identity than his straight sister, but he is still faced with trying to find love and/or sex in a place where not many other students are openly gay. Reviewer: Heather Pittman
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Judy and Kyle's relationship is fraught with tension, and the competition between the 16-year-old twins only increases when a fellow student joins their already large household for the final month of the school year. The strange son of family friends, Garret moves into the attic, turns it into a dark and creepy den, and claims to be a vampire. Kyle, who has recently come out to his family, and Judy are both a little intrigued and begin to vie for Garret's attention. Told from the siblings' alternating viewpoints, the story is light and engaging. Refreshingly, Kyle's homosexuality is mostly a nonissue, and his strained relationship with his sister is the crux of his angst. There isn't a lot that is new in this novel, it's not as well done as other stories told with more than one first-person narrator, and the characters are a little undeveloped. But it is a quick, fun read with a satisfying ending, and it will appeal to those who enjoy realistic relationship-themed fiction.—Sharon Senser McKellar, Oakland Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Sparks fly when the mysterious, smooth-talking, eye-liner'd Garret Johnson moves in for a month with the very Bradylike household of sparring twins Kyle and Judy Renneker. It's unclear at the outset as to why the twins hate each other so much—all readers know is that Kyle is openly gay and Judy is seemingly pursuing a cute boy by carrying around a Bible. Garret, however, is an artist-in-training who wears all black and has strange phone conversations with someone he claims is his vampire mentor. Both twins seem dubious, but he somehow manages to seduce them into modeling for his sketches in various stages of undress. Soon, the twins are at each other's throats trying to decide which one he likes the best. What Ryan loses in hackneyed plotting he makes up for in character development. Garret, Kyle and Judy, as well as the rest of the Renneker family, are all sharply portrayed, and readers will definitely feel a sense of belonging as they read their story. Ryan also injects plenty of lusty longing and (mostly tame but for the language is) seduction scenes that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The conclusion isn't quite as much fun as the characters' journeys, but readers will definitely have lots to think about once they've finished. (Romantic thriller. 14 & up)

Kirkus Reviews

Sparks fly when the mysterious, smooth-talking, eye-liner'd Garret Johnson moves in for a month with the very Bradylike household of sparring twins Kyle and Judy Renneker. It's unclear at the outset as to why the twins hate each other so much—all readers know is that Kyle is openly gay and Judy is seemingly pursuing a cute boy by carrying around a Bible. Garret, however, is an artist-in-training who wears all black and has strange phone conversations with someone he claims is his vampire mentor. Both twins seem dubious, but he somehow manages to seduce them into modeling for his sketches in various stages of undress. Soon, the twins are at each other's throats trying to decide which one he likes the best. What Ryan loses in hackneyed plotting he makes up for in character development. Garret, Kyle and Judy, as well as the rest of the Renneker family, are all sharply portrayed, and readers will definitely feel a sense of belonging as they read their story. Ryan also injects plenty of lusty longing and (mostly tame but for the language is) seduction scenes that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The conclusion isn't quite as much fun as the characters' journeys, but readers will definitely have lots to think about once they've finished. (Romantic thriller. 14 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545221283
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,015,456
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Gemini Bites is the kind of book that will definitely leave an i

    Gemini Bites is the kind of book that will definitely leave an impression on you and whether or not that's a good or bad one, will depend on how you feel about a few things. Firstly, how do you feel about 2 siblings that hate each other? Secondly, how do you feel about sexual content in the books you read, gay or otherwise? Thirdly, how do you fell about vampires? If you don't mind any of these things, then you'll most likely like this book. If you do mind, then you probably won't. I however, fall somewhere in the middle.

    I wasn't crazy about the way Judy treats Kyle throughout the novel. She constantly using derogatory terms to describe his sexuality and makes everything between the two of them into a competition. Not only that, but she's continuously unlikeable because she's utterly and completely fake. Judy has no personality of her own, she constantly borrows others peoples hobbies and interests so that they will like her and is absolutely awful to her best friend.

    Kyle on the other hand, is not only easily more likeable, but completely comfortable in his own skin. He's both funny and nice to everyone, with the exception of Judy, which you can't really blame him for. He's sexuality isn't an issue either, not with himself, his best friend or his family, as he's accepted for exactly who he is.

    Garret is a pretty fascinating character but not because of what he claims to be, but rather how he interacts with both Judy & Kyle so differently. He appears to be one way and then another depending on who he's with and where they're at. Thankfully though, the mystery of whether or not Garret is a vampire isn't really the focus of the novel, which is good because it was painfully obvious, at least to me, what he is.

    I definitely appreciated the realistic portrayal of a large family, with all members having their own unique voice and personality instead of being one dimensional. The twins parents were also quite active in their children lives, unlike most parents in YA fiction, which was very lovely to read.

    The novels pacing was alright and although I appreciated the alternating points of view, I found Judy's chapters much harder to get through since I didn't really care for her. The novel's ending left me disappointed (everything is tied up very neatly) and felt slightly out of place (lets jump a year into the future). It honestly felt like I was reading something that should have been the start of a sequel, which was not only odd but not really necessary since the chapter before would have concluded the novel nicely.

    While I enjoyed reading a novel with a gay character at its center, I could have done without some of the explicit sexual content. I can understand what author Patrick Ryan was trying to do in regards to sharing what the gay teen experience might be like, but I found it a bit uncomfortable to read. In my opinion, the subtle moments between the various characters were more impacting then any of the overly outrageous ones. Gemini Bites isn't flawless, nor is it for everyone, but overall I found it refreshingly unique.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for TeensReadToo

    While it's not certain if Garret is gay or straight - or even bi - Kyle is out and pretty much proud of who he is. He's never dated anyone, but had some experience with guys, and his best friend happens to be gay, as well. Kyle is pretty amusing, as he's a huge exaggerator and yet he finds himself starting to become more and more interested in Garret, who swears that he's a vampire. Well, one of their fellow classmates seems to believe it, and he'll do just about anything he can to rid their school of evil...even if that means ridding them of Garret altogether. As for Judy, whenever she finds she likes a guy, she starts to become "interested" in whatever they like - and her recent conquest is all about the Bible. But when Judy realizes that Kyle is starting to like Garret, she can't let her brother win, can she? GEMINI BITES is told in alternating chapters, first Judy, then Kyle, and so on. I seemed to enjoy Kyle's storyline a little more, but then again, I did first pick up this book for the LGBT content and that would be Kyle. He's also a funny character and you really do start to care for him and the way he's treated by Judy. This is especially poignant since the twins come from a big family and it's hard to find time with their parents. Judy is a good character too, though. She really goes through her own progressions and you'll find yourself shaking your head, yet letting laughter slip out, at some of her more mean statements. In all, both teens are well-rounded and I felt like you got to see a big picture of who they were and what they were interested in. Kyle wasn't just the horny teen guy obsessing over boys, and Judy wasn't just a mean "actress" trying to get a boyfriend. You even see an interesting side of her, good and bad, when it comes to her best friend, Sasha. This girl was an amusing character, but you do feel for her, too. And it reminded me a lot of Brittany on Glee. She's a bit ditsy and clueless and yet can see things that other people overlook sometimes. You just have to love her! As for their family, they were a lot of fun. The three younger siblings were a bit hard to keep straight sometimes, but the eldest, Tommy and Dexter, seemed to be their own people in the little time they had to "shine." Their parents were also very sweet and you could tell they cared and wanted to be there for their kids as much as they could- even though it's hard with a house full of them. I'm really thankful I was given the chance to read GEMINI BITES. I would definitely recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Awesome

    This is a very well written book with an interesting plot that will leave you turning pages to the very end. Congragulations Patrick Ryan on a book well done.- The Rebel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    Very good ~Readthisbook~

    I actually liked this book it was so not what i thought it would be like i actually thought this book was gonna be something like the twilight saga (GAFFAW) its really hardly about vampires at all!! I liked both judy and kyle. Its funny to see what legthes judy will go for just a guy. But think i like kyle better as a character hes just a lot sweeter. and he is gay but his sexuality is only really pushed in a few spots in the book and i had no problem with kyle being gay cuz hes just so sweet!!!! Overall i thought it was a very good book i would recommend it to teens 14 yrs and up. ~Readthisbook~

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  • Posted December 5, 2010

    This book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is so awesome i read it because i do this book reviewer program for the librarian at my school and i picked this book out because it was the only interesting looking book and it has a mystery about a person who might or might not be a vampire so if you want to read a good book read this when it comes out!

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