Gemini Bites

Gemini Bites

4.4 5
by Patrick Ryan
     
 

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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… See more details below

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.

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:
9780545332507
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
798,690
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 - 12 Years

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