My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
TIM is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.
ERIC is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.
DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.
Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.
So what did I think?
T.E.D. brings together three unique characters whose stories interweave as they face the challenges of growing up.
In some ways I was surprised by this story. For some reason I had expectations that the story would be very much focused on the experiences of dealing with being gay – I think this expectation came from the shelving of the book (on Amazon and GR) – but although the issue of coming out is very much part of this story, it is not its entirety.
The story encompasses general bullying and the total shits that kids can be towards one another. It deals with torment and pain and physical bullying. It deals with being bullied for who you are and being bullied for something that isn’t even true.
It deals with the impact of parental disputes and how this affects home life. It deals with homelessness, sexual aggression by other teens, first crushes and keeping up appearances. It raises the topic of suicide.
I actually found the book a little bit hard going, not a casual quick read. I think this was due to the nature of the topic and the sense of sadness and melancholy to the story. The language of the book captured the immaturity of the boys, particularly Tim’s story which was largely told by diary entry, an interesting first person perspective but with very much a childlike feel.
But there is hope and an ending that reminds us of the value of friendship and reminds us that Tim, Eric and Delsin are just boys at heart.
A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for my honest review.
To find out more about Jayson James visit his website.