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My Side of the Story: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jarold, aka, Jazz, is a typical sixteen year old boy. He lives at home with his two remarkably un-divorced parents, his holier-than-thou sister, and his overbearing grandmother. It's a life straight out of a TV show. Or so it seem
The truth is that Jazz's life is anything but picture perfect. He's seeing a shrink because his mom and dad found out he's gay; his schoolmates torment him every day; and he keeps bumping into his high school teacher at a local gay bar. To make ...
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My Side of the Story: A Novel

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Overview

Jarold, aka, Jazz, is a typical sixteen year old boy. He lives at home with his two remarkably un-divorced parents, his holier-than-thou sister, and his overbearing grandmother. It's a life straight out of a TV show. Or so it seem
The truth is that Jazz's life is anything but picture perfect. He's seeing a shrink because his mom and dad found out he's gay; his schoolmates torment him every day; and he keeps bumping into his high school teacher at a local gay bar. To make matters worse, his best friend, Al, keeps pulling him into trouble. Jazz knows he has to keep everything together, at least through finals, so he can get away from this life once and for all. But, in his haste to leave everything behind, he comes to find out that the only thing he can't escape is himself.
Witty, sardonic, and incredibly funny, My Side of the Story is the perfectly rendered portrait of a precocious, troubled teenager faced with the awkward process of growing up and coming out.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
With an angst-ridden voice reminiscent of Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Jarold, nicknamed Jaz, recounts his woes of being a gay teen in an intact professional family in contemporary London. In Jaz, Davis masters the tone of egocentric adolescent discontent that is sure to resonate with teens. Supported by his friend Al (for Alice), Jaz stumbles through coming out to parents (who hope for a change of mind), being outed, enduring bullying, cruising the one gay bar that admits underage patrons, and living in a normally dysfunctional, three-generational family. Ever candid, Jaz is alternately amusing, crude, and tedious. The jumbled order of events, although realistic for speech, will frustrate readers. When Jaz is in geography class, although previously he was seen fist fighting that teacher, this reader anticipated seeing the teacher's bruises only to have Jaz toss off "this is before the whole fist fight so ho ho ho-little do I know what's coming!" Stylistic differences in punctuation detract from the story's power, yet Jaz's turn of phrase can be clever, such as when describing a character as having a "voice, which . . . sounds as if all hope's been liposuctioned out of it." Salinger fans have waited for this novel.
Kirkus Reviews
A gay British teenager delivers a sniping, witty rant a la Holden Caulfield while undergoing romantic and drug-related misadventures, followed by a mild raft of Life Lessons. Jarold, or "Jazz," as he's dubbed himself, is 16, a minor hellion whose carping, unhappily married parents ("a surreal, toned-down, middle-aged version of Sid and Nancy, minus the heroin") treat every transgression or departure from so-called normalcy as a sign of doom and an occasion for panicked speechmaking. So when his devout younger sister ("The Nun") rats him out for picking up men in a gay bar, his home life begins to unravel. And when,accompanied by his sidekick Alice ("Al"), Jazz begins running into one of his teachers at the club, and when Alice decides that the rather dumpy teacher is lonely and begins canvassing the place for dates for him, the troubles mount. It gets worse: Jazz seduces a man who has scruples about Jazz's age; in disentangling himself from a schoolgirl's crush, he accidentally outs himself and falls prey to bullies. Davis handles these early pages with sardonic wit and energy, and in a convincing, profane teen argot (no "phonies" in this lingo). And the author wisely soft-pedals the hints of vulnerability. But when a fellow misfit and former semi-friend of Jazz's named Fabian-who's graduated to knife-wielding and halfhearted neo-Nazism and showing off ink-pen tattoos to "impressionable molestables" in the schoolyard-first rescues Jazz from the homophobe tough guys and then commits suicide, the tale begins its slide into YA cliche. Suddenly, the narrative is littered with clumsy coincidences, crying jags, therapy sessions. It turns out (gasp!) that Jazz's irony is a mask, and beneath thatmask, tartness and sex and drugs aside, lurks a sensitive soul. A first novel featuring a truculent, funny adolescent narrator, one that starts well and that augurs well for the career of its young author (born in 1980), but that eventually succumbs to formula.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596919754
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/10/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 899,425
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Will Davis is the author of two novels, My Side of the Story, which won the Betty Trask Prize 2007, and Dream Machine. He has trained as an aerialist and specializes in corde lisse (rope), tissu (silks) and static trapeze. He lives in London.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    :(

    This book is very hard to read, as the grammer is a unique style. There are absolutly no quotation marks. None...so dialog is just guess work. I will keep trying, but im not sure i will be able to get through it. If so and it turns out to be good, i will re write this otherwise if you are a perfectionist like me...turn away

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    this book is wonderful. I haven't laughed as hard or felt more moved by a novel in a really long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted May 26, 2011

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    Posted February 24, 2009

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