We have seen so many coming-out novels published in the past few years that one could say it's starting to be overdone, but this new novel about 17 year old Noah, is very effective and shows great originality. There are so many issues going on in the lives of these well-developed characters, that it takes a while to grasp it all, but you will, and it's quite a story from the beginning to end.
Noah, a closeted gay teenager, is dealing with his father's death, his adjustment to living in rural New Hampshire after moving from urban Chicago, and his mother's growing madness as she discovers a terrible dark secret in the new house as she finds mason jar after mason jar between the walls filled with letters, poems, and other strange things while renovating the house. On top of all this, Noah's blossoming love for his new neighbor, J.D., a handsome 16 year-old, creates more issues as well. J.D. is living a horrific home life, with an alcoholic father and a bigoted mother. Yes, there's much, much more to this story. You'll have to discover the rest for yourself. Yates has the creative touch to explore all these issues, and many more not mentioned, and still bring it all together in the end.
If you want an honest, intelligent, well-crafted story to read, this is the book for you. Yates is a fine writer, who has a great future ahead of him. This is a book to really get absorbed in, and forget the world around you for a while. Spend some time with these dysfunctional families, and your own life will take on a whole new light. Highly recommended!