Lost and Found - Carolyn Parkhurst
I spent a pleasant evening reading this book. Although the author cranked up the melodrama level rather high, I nonetheless consider the story a success because the writing skill was good enough to make the characters distinct. And, as is important for light reading like this, the characters were likable and their problems engaging. Parkhurst even managed to find something likable about such initially unpromising folks as Juliet (the self-promoting actress) and Justin (the ex-gay fanatic). My one reservation was that Justin doesn't make an entirely convincing "godbot". I once shared a house with a small congregation of passionate evangelicals, and noticed that one thing they all had in common was a smug inability to even imagine any perspective but their own; Justin is less totally insular than they seemed, and he is not convincingly self-deceiving. However, perhaps some other reader will say "I was that guy once", and say that the character rings true to them. That was certainly my experience with Cassie. How did Parkhurst so uncannily capture some of my own experiences and thoughts as a teenager? "For so long, it was just my secret. It burned inside me, and I felt like I was carrying something important, something that made me who I was and made me different from everybody else.... I felt almost, I don't know, noble, like a medieval knight or something, carrying this secret love around with me." "It's not like I think it's a terrible thing to be gay, or that I even know if that's what I am. But when I think about it, it's like I'm standing on the top of a skyscraper, right at the very edge, and it's just such a fucking long way down."