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Love Drugged
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Love Drugged
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If you could change who you are, would you? Should you? Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest...
If you could change who you are, would you? Should you? Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest...
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  • If you could change who you are, would you? Should you? Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest secret—he's gay. But when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie does all he can to change who he is. At first, it's easy. Everyone notices when he starts hanging out with Celia Gamez, the richest and most beautiful girl in school. And when he steals an experimental new drug that's supposed to "cure" his attraction to guys, Jamie thinks he's finally going to have a "normal" life. But as the drug's side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he's created—and hurt the people closest to him. Told with equal doses of humor and suspense, Love Drugged explores the consequences of a life constructed almost entirely of lies...especially the lies we tell ourselves. An American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Children's & Young Adult Literature

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 6, 2010
    Klise's debut novel follows high school freshman Jamie Bates, who closely guards the fact that he is gay in a school where "the worst insult for any boy was to be called simply, ‘fag.' " When beautiful
    Celia Gamez begins paying attention to him, Jamie has an opportunity to date a girl and appear normal to his friends. What's more, Celia's father is a scientist developing a drug that "suppresses the homosexual response in the male brain." A chance encounter enables Jamie to steal a number of the pills, taking them when he knows he will be with Celia. Much to Jamie's relief, the pills quell his desire for boys, but he begins to suffer side effects—headaches, tremors, bloody noses—and he doesn't get the one effect he wants most: desire for Celia. The drama that ensues is a bit far-fetched and the ending tidy, but Klise has created an empathetic protagonist (avoiding the trap of dumping him into a gay relationship right away) and a thoughtful story about identity, sexuality, and learning to accept oneself. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2010

    Only slowly accepting his homosexuality, 15-year-old Jamie Bates recoils when he encounters an odd gay student. Once Jamie learns of an untested drug, Rehomoline, that may control same-sex attraction, he begins taking doses, even though the side effects build. This novel is an unfortunate return to early teen gay literature: Sexuality is presented as a problem, not a part of an identity. Despite the first-person narration, Jamie never develops a personality; character motives are either summed up in a simple sentence following Jamie's choices or left alone. Jamie's secretive chat sessions with fellow gay teens create some of the few authentic and encouraging moments in the tale; in most instances, he bounces between thinly veiled homophobic moments and awkward encounters with an effeminate homosexual student. School librarian Mr. Covici, with his inspirational messages, presumably acts as an authorial voice within the text (the author, who is gay, is a high-school librarian), but he is such a forced insertion as to feel unnatural. With the dated feel and the insubstantial characterization, Klise's first novel is a placebo rather than a cure. (Fiction. 12 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2011

    Gr 7-10-Fifteen-year-old Jamie is so scared that his gay classmate will out him at school after finding him on a chat site that he desperately tries to respond to flirtations from Celia, a cute, rich girl in his First Knights Club. When his heart (and other body parts) just won't cooperate, Jamie "steals" an experimental drug designed to repress the homosexual response from Celia's father, a pharmaceutical scientist. As Jamie increases his dosage in order to be more physical with Celia, the side effects of the drug get progressively worse, until finally he realizes he must confront Dr. Gamez with the truth. During this confrontation, Dr. Gamez reveals that Jamie has just been a convenient guinea pig in his research, and Jamie recognizes just how evil the scientist and his drug really are. If the plot weren't unbelievable enough, it goes into overdrive on the final pages-Jamie sets the lab on fire; he comes out to his friends and family who, of course, love him unconditionally; newspapers distort the story, causing gay and antigay activists to demonstrate in Chicago streets; there is a lawsuit and countersuit where Jamie is awarded a million dollars; and his poverty-stricken parents get a new restaurant and begin life anew. Although this novel tries in the end to be positive, it seems to have a 1980s mindset while writing for 21st-century teens.-Betty S. Evans, Missouri State University, Springfield

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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