The Dangerous Art of Blending In

The Dangerous Art of Blending In

by Angelo Surmelis


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~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~

A raw, powerful, but ultimately uplifting debut novel perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe from debut author Angelo Surmelis.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in an abandoned monastery that feels as lonely as he is. And yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. Henry, who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he deserves more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse.

But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by being silent.

This is a powerful and revelatory coming-of-age novel based on the author’s own childhood, about a boy who learns to step into his light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062659019
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 59,304
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Angelo Surmelis was raised in Greece until he immigrated to Illinois at the age of five. He currently lives in Los Angeles. An award-winning designer, Surmelis has been featured on over fifty television shows, including the Today show and Extra, as well as in magazines such as InStyle, TV Guide, and Entertainment Weekly. He has worked as a host on networks like HGTV and TLC. He can be found online at

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The Dangerous Art of Blending In 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Ed Baran More than 1 year ago
I was given this book by a friend and was unsure of how I'd feel reading it... it has a few trigger topics - homophobia, abuse and it's about an immigrant family. I honestly was not sure I would relate, or if I'd even want to take in the other horrible stuff. Well, what I can say is that a few weeks later this book still lives in me - it's one of those books that really makes you think - haunts you... but in a good way. This is mainly because of the characters and the love between Evan and Henry - it's unique, sure, but at the same time, completely typical teenage love... their love is not written as a gay love... it's just love and the other thing that stays with you is the message - one of hope... for all of us. The books offers a lot for people looking to learn, too - if this is not your go-to book and if this is not your world, you'll embrace it - if you're open and do not put your own "stuff" on it (but if your "stuff" does creep in - listen to it, learn from it) - just take it in, take the incredible journey, educate yourself on the things that feel uncomfortable... and look around your own life and see where people may need help - - - because it may just be you. I can not recommend this book enough - I think it is a must read for anyone looking to challenge themselves - and definitely an excellent book for teens.
momof3boysj More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking, but yet beautiful story of Evan, a young man and son of Greek immigrants, trying to find his place as he grapples with being gay. Evan's life at home is far from easy--his mother is abusive and doesn't believe in his dreams, his father is passive toward his mother's behavior. His life at school becomes harder as suspicions arise regarding his sexuality and that of his friend. His safe place is an abandoned monastery and his greatest secrets are in his notebooks. His fear of being outed as gay becomes his saving grace when it happens--it sets him free to move on, love and accept himself, and pursue his dreams.