Title: Gimme Pride
Author: J. Tomas
Cover Art: J.M.Snyder
Publisher: Queerteen Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Gimme Pride
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Young Adult ( 16 years and up )
Length: 7,830 words
Rating: 4 out of 5 rating stars
Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: I liked this vividly written and fun short story aimed at Y A readers.
Blurb: When Chip’s older sister invites him and Jen to help her man a vendor booth at Richmond Pride, the two teenagers jump at the chance. Decked out in a provocative bathing suit and feather boa, Chip is completely in his element. Then Jen spots Bobby, who plays soccer for their school and who Chip’s had a crush on forever. If he’s at Pride, does that mean what Chip hopes it means?
But when Chip tries to talk to Bobby, he discovers not all gay teens are as comfortable flaunting their sexuality as he is.
This well written short story is a nice take on adolescent growing pains. Although it doesn’t shy away from the obvious problems gay teens have at school, fifteen year old Chip is lucky having a popular best friend Jen to shield him from the worst reactions to being gay and conspicuously out there. Consequently, while YA fiction can be quite dark dealing as it often does with strong and difficult situations, Gimme Pride has for the most part an uplifting and bouncy vibe.
There is a suitably happy go lucky holiday atmosphere which is a great back ground to Chip and Jen’s fun and loud teenage friendship. Pride came to life with vivid technicolour detail – the dancing with boas was really cute.
There are some good if necessarily thumbnail character studies here. I liked that Chip was in touch with the reality of peer pressure, recognising the social status Jen’s friendship gives him, but he also showed a strong character in refusing to tone his personality down.
I enjoyed Jen’s caring attitude to Chip, but also the way she extended that to other people, refusing to indulge Chip’s curiosity. Her empathy was a nice touch and eventually helped Chip push through his natural self absorption and totally understandable urge for instant gratification. It wouldn’t be a complete YA story without the school sport’s star, but Bobby made his own case a believable one. However the finishing scene felt a little abrupt- I could have done with a few more details.
I have recently read a few YA works put out by adult M/M novel publishers and the standard has been very high. Overall this brief celebration of thoughtfulness and compromise was a fun read and a good addition to the genre.