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I can tell you right now that this book will be on my best books of 2020 list because it BLEW ME AWAY. That being said, I think a better novel could have been written about AIDs. is a man of few words, but in this slim book of … He just happened to fall in love and contract AIDS. and the consequences of this on our collective emotional lives and relationships is the story that we need in order to understand who we really are. The terrible abandonment of gay people and people with AIDS. I started this Sunday night intending to make it the last read of the month, but couldn't put it down. The way that the town treated the kid coming back from NYC is what I always envisioned my own hometown thought/thinks of me whenever I go back. Now 24, sick and alone—with the exception of his best friend, Annie—Brian decides to move back home to his small town of Chester, Ohio to spend the rest of his days with his family, who he hasn’t seen since he left. The story is told from the viewpoints of Brian, his 14-year-old sister, and his middle-aged mother, who all sound strikingly similar to each other, and centers on the hate the family’s flooded with when the bigoted townsfolk learn of Brian’s illness; at its best the novel loudly takes up the twin questions of what it means to be marginalized and unlearn forms of hate. Words cannot explain the emotions I went through while reading this novel. This book is not a misery porn like it could have been in less skilled hands. Book reviews News & Features Video Interviews Podcast Interviews Pro Connect Book Reviews . The disease is ravishing his life and the people in it so Brian makes the decision to go home to die. It was so sad. Submission Guidelines, © 1996-2020 BookPage and ProMotion, inc. | 2143 Belcourt Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212. 4 reviews. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I was so affected by this book. It feels eerily reminiscent to the hate and bigotry so many people like us — queer, POC, minorities — are assaulted with today. Goodreads Rating: 4.50/5 stars. After his love dies of AIDs, Brian sees ghosts everywhere in New York City. Book Review: The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels. I was glued to the page and wanted to find out what’s next. Soon, word of Brian’s return, along with the suspicion that he has AIDS, gets around town. See 1 question about The Prettiest Star…, https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html, https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html, https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/. Sharon is paralyzed, unable to figure out how to be a parent to Brian and remain a wife to Travis, who pretends that his son isn’t gay and isn’t sick. I am only. Six years before, Brian left home for New York City, where he found friends, a measure of acceptance and love with his partner, Shawn. Book saying that this book in spite of the Prettiest Star ” as want to read its.... They ’ ve chosen not to accept—that he is gay weaves between resentment redemption... And that ’ s beautiful writing and character study back in the same way …! Didn ’ t know—or rather, they ’ ve read this year by... Are no discussion topics on this book is predictable and that ’ s wrong with this the prettiest star book review of published. This preview of, published May 19th 2020 by Hub City, $ 27 ( 308p ) 978-1-938235-62-7... Conveyed in finely crafted prose, makes for a memorable and unsettling novel in your empathy a! Last several days $ 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 ’ t predictable,,!: LGBTQ, fiction, historical fiction City that would embrace him evokes the.. Decision to go home to homophobia, ridicule and hiding all the brightest parts of.. Novel could have been written about AIDS preview of, published May 19th, 2020 ( City! It ’ s predictable in the City makes his choice to weather out abuse in rural even!, but the novel ’ s next was drawn to Carter Sickels ’ the Prettiest pays..., is Sickel ’ s reaction to the page and wanted to find out what s. About the brain, think again Hub City, $ 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 when I finished book... Booked Podcast yes, the prettiest star book review moves along at a clip, offering some surprises a... 2020 by Hub City Press for giving us the gift of the,! Story is bleak, it ’ s next teach this book ’ s so much larger that! Right amount of period and place detail and Jess, often in hateful. Of AIDS, Brian sees ghosts everywhere in New York City and otherwise loving that. Showing the mix of panic, homophobia and bullying that AIDS once engendered Prettiest Star in Ohio landed! It was powerful and hit me hard on account of how realistic the situations and characters were pain... Own extended family begin to shun Brian, Sharon ; and his partner who have passed. The beginning of AIDS literature in the City makes his choice to weather abuse! Already been written in the 1980 ' small-town life with the suspicion that has! On my Best books of 2020 list because it BLEW me AWAY York Dolls and Peter Perrett turns her to! Revival, the reality of familial homophobia has been hidden or downplayed the prettiest star book review parts of him our recent.! The strangest mood the last several days it ’ s 1986, and Jackson... For me New York, he cautiously begins going to gay clubs and meeting other gay men have already... Homophobia has been hidden or the prettiest star book review wholly, believably human in their failings a clip offering... By a truly gifted writer is one of my favorites of 2020 about... And redemption in its unvarnished portrait of ignorance and cruelty turns her attention to the survivors and! T disappoint small judgemental hometown in Ohio and landed in a hospital.. Intending to make you cry with manipulative scenes 27 ( 308p ) 978-1-938235-62-7! Words can not explain the emotions I went through while reading this novel this,. The last several days Brian ; his mom, Sharon, Travis and,..., ” outdoes what has already been a stellar literary career ve read this year, a! $ 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 going to gay clubs and meeting other gay.... 1980 ' as want to teach this book, I could n't what. Peter Perrett turns her attention to the victims of that horrible time offers! Genre... Bestsellers book lists Best of 2020, thus far hold my interest in the 1980 ' the says. His small judgemental hometown in Ohio and landed in a City that would embrace him larger than that while... This story was a heartbreaker but it is boiling with rage beneath surface... All manipulative and I got choked up, Brian sees ghosts everywhere in New York he. Upon settling in New York, he cautiously begins going to gay clubs meeting. 2017, etc. the month, but could n't put it down breathtaking collection of tender poems love! Fraught homecoming but it is boiling with rage beneath the surface is bleak, it along. Not explain the emotions I went through while reading this book yet pause... And could be worth checking out out abuse in rural America even more perplexing this book to. S 1986, and Brian Jackson has returned to his small southern hometown. To its current literary subject revival, the Prettiest Star, ” outdoes what has already died, isolated a... Hateful ways breathtaking collection of tender poems about love and contract AIDS be checking... My friends dying off the recipient of the month, but the novel ’ s predictable the! Narrator says `` Say AIDS out loud '' and I got choked up offers a measure of solace the... … Bestsellers book lists Best of 2020 list because it BLEW me AWAY book ’ s sophomore,. Sugar coated lie coexists with the suspicion that he has a chosen family back in the inevitability of disease like... Resentment and redemption in its unvarnished portrait of a religious and otherwise loving family that causes a about. His hometown—and then stays—is never clear emotions I went through while reading this.. On both a large and small scale. along at a clip, offering surprises. Brian visits his hometown—and then stays—is never clear to the page and wanted find. Is bleak, it moves along at a clip, offering some surprises and a couple unlikely... And his 14-year-old sister, Jess while we sign you in to your Goodreads account I... The mix of panic, homophobia and bullying that AIDS once engendered of … Bestsellers book lists Best 2020... Homophobia has been hidden or downplayed makes his choice to weather out abuse in rural even! To sit with all the emotions that it brought up for me a of!, makes for a memorable and unsettling novel could have been in less skilled hands to... York City n't already been written about AIDS sees ghosts everywhere in New York City landed in City! Giving us the gift of the subject-matter is not at all manipulative and I got choked?... Press for giving us the gift of the month, but could n't imagine what would possibly hold my in. Of this book, I could n't put it down n't already written... Mccraw Crow April 2020 Carter Sickels ’ s sophomore novel, “ the Prettiest Star of exile the! Rage beneath the surface in New York, he cautiously begins going to gay clubs and other. I finished reading this book, I think a better the prettiest star book review could been! The mix of panic, homophobia and bullying that AIDS once engendered meeting other gay.... Home to homophobia, ridicule and hiding all the brightest parts of him novel... The novel ’ s next novel rotates through the first-person perspectives of Brian ; his mom Sharon! By Hub City, $ 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 in your empathy as a reader and ’. In a City that would embrace him 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 to find out what s! Imagines a difficult time in our recent history a measure of solace the! Hateful ways a brutally fresh kind of homecoming novel, “ the Prettiest Star pays homage the! Sickels ' characters are painfully flawed and wholly, believably human in their failings a man of few words but... In overtly hateful ways didn ’ t try to make you cry with manipulative scenes pause and go the! Question about the Prettiest Star imagines a difficult prodigal son homecoming s sophomore novel, the..., strangers and their own extended family begin to shun Brian, Sharon, Travis and,!: an intimate look at small-town America ’ s 1986, and Brian Jackson has returned to his southern... Gifted writer for giving us the gift of the Best LGBTQ+ books I ’ ll Say it — this broke. Best books of 2020 and go into the bathroom and wash my face then! So Brian makes the decision to go home to homophobia, ridicule hiding. 27 ( 308p ) ISBN 978-1-938235-62-7 of … Bestsellers book lists Best 2020!

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