Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton—in Nova Scotia, maybe—who doesn't have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny's dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has to get a summer job. Worst of all, he's keeping a secret that could ruin everything.
Tom Ryan was born and raised in Inverness, Cape Breton. After high school, he studied English at Mount Allison University and then moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he studied film production. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his husband and their dog, Wheeler. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com.
Read an Excerpt
Maybe Lisa had appeared out of nowhere for a reason. I was kind of like a frog in a fairy tale who needed a kiss from a princess so he could turn into a prince. Only, instead of a frog, I was a might-be-gay kid who needed straightening out, and instead of a princess, she was a cigarette-smoking tattooed city girl with a bag full of mix tapes. I figured that was close enough.
Way to Go 3.2 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued after reading the summary, but it doesn't do the book justice. From page one I was swept into Danny's world. Tom Ryan wrote a book that I will read over and over again.
Danny has just finished his junior year of high school and he isn't sure who he really is or what he wants to do with his life. It takes getting busted by the cops and forced into a summer job he didn't really want to push him to figure it out. He ignores his two best friends, Kierce and Jay, for the first few weeks of summer because of a girl, Lisa. She is energetic, beautiful, and easy going. With his reluctance, she gets him to dance, let loose, and have a little fun, something Danny doesn't do well on his own. Kierce is pushy and thinks the world of himself. Jay is the friend everyone needs. He is relaxed, easy to get along with, and accepting.
What I loved most about this book was Danny's little sister Alma. She is thirteen, loves classic movies, and she attempts to lighten the mood when things get tense. I found myself laughing throughout the book whenever she would make a reference to a movie. Another thing I liked was Kierce's rules. The book is littered with them. I would find myself rereading the rules because they were either true for most people I know or they were so ridiculous that I thought maybe I should add this to my list. For instance, "Rule Two: If you want to get rich, you've got to do well in school. Study as hard as you party." If you know where I go to college, then you know I attend the #1 party school in the US. This rule applies to everyone on campus.
Overall, this book was phenomenal and I recommend this book to everyone. It was amazing and held some life lessons that not every one achieves. Acceptance being the number one lesson on that list.
Shadow123 on LibraryThing
10 months ago
I am a high school librarian. I spend all day with teenagers, and I read a LOT of YA literature. Unfortunately, this book falls very short of the mark.It's doomed from the start by a cliched story - teenage boy thinks he might be gay, but he lives in a small homophobic town with a couple of meathead homophobic friends and so he has a lot of trouble accepting himself for who he is. Some new people come into his life over the summer, including an older, wizened lesbian (clearly marked to be his new role model) and by the end of the summer everything is hunky-dory.Here's the problem: this story has been written a lot, and it's been written a lot better. This book takes place over the summer of 1994, which makes little sense to me - even the mixtape on the cover is a dead giveaway to today's teenagers that this book is "old." (Most teenagers today do not even know what a cassette tape is!) The dialogue is the absolute cheesiest stuff I have ever heard, full of 1994 slang and clearly written the way adults think that teenagers talk, but not in the way that teenagers actually talk to one another. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and the problems are solved too easily, with everything tied up in a neat and tidy bow by the end of the book.This book might serve as some decent nostalgia for a 20-something reader looking for some light fluff. But for the YA audience this book is intended for? I don't know any teenager today who would bother reading it. If you're looking for some good YA literature dealing with issues about coming to terms with being gay, try Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.
Deedledee on LibraryThing
10 months ago
Initially I wasn't all that taken by this book but about 30 pages in I got into the characters. Danny's 17 years-old, living in Cape Breton, and thinks he might be gay. He's terrified to tell his friends and his family. When Lisa shows up with her cool New York ways, Danny thinks he might be in love with her and be able to prove to his friends he's not gay.
Jonathan.Holman on LibraryThing
10 months ago
I wasn't entirely sure this was a gay book when I indicated my interest in reading Way to Go, but I wasn't surprised based on the summary I had been given. As a gay man, I found this book to be a nice, normal look into the teenage years of a guy who is reaching the point in his life where he really has to start dealing with the feelings he has and the people around him who are starting to notice that something is different about him. I thought the story was very raw and honest. It felt like someone had taken a leaf from their own journal, changed the names and locations, and made it into a novel. I'm not citing this as a bad thing. I actually like how realistic the story was; however, I feel like the tempo of the story was a bit choppy. I'm a little older than the age demographic for this novel, and I take that into consideration when judging this book. And just because I am older by a few years doesn't mean that there wasn't something in this story for me. Quite the opposite. I really wish that I had a book like this when I was in high school. Books like Way to Go and the works of Alex Sanchez and others weren't around when I was going through this stuff. I think that this book is a very nice first novel from Tom Ryan, and I look forward to picking up a copy of whatever he has to offer next. Very quick read, and age appropriate. The language in this book is definitely not for young teens.
Kassilem on LibraryThing
10 months ago
This was an easy going book and intriguing enough that I finished it in a few hours. I was worried that it would be the classic teenage coming out story but wanted to give it try in case it wasn't. It isn't. The book is about more the process of understanding what matters in life. I kept expecting Danny to find a cute guy to hook up with but that never happened and after looking back on that, it was a little refreshing. It makes this book not about prejudices or love but about believing in yourself and coming to grips with who you are which is an important lesson for anyone. Danny was a fun character to follow; he's very relatable. One of the few things that lowered my rating was the anticlimactic ending. It seemed a little rushed. We follow Danny through his agony of refusing to believe he is gay but it seems like there was little transition between that and his acceptance. More on his thought process there would have been nice. Overall, a nice read. :)
More than 1 year ago
This book is far from exceptional and definitely not a must-read. At best, this is a Saturday afternoon time killer that pales in comparison to great glbt youth works like The Vast Fields of Ordinay or J.H. Trumble's Don't Let Me go. It's not bad, it's just not that great.