This is more of a recommendation than a product review, but nevertheless, this entry is about a book I just finished reading that had a very strong impact on me. That book is Sprout, by Dale Peck.
I'm not much of a reader. Well, at least when it comes to being forced to read a book that was written 5 billion years ago about colonial era sluts who are accused of being witches. But every now and then I will get the craving to read a young adult fiction book. But not just any book. It has to involve a young or teenage boy or I won't read it. Take Lord of the Flies for example. I was never required to read it at school, but did so during "reading time" in my 10th grade English class where we were allowed to read any book of our choosing for 30 minutes each day. I absolutely loved that book and made sure to watch both movies as well. And (dare I say it?), the book was much better.
But above all else, I love reading books about young gay boys. And that is exactly what Sprout is. Sprout is the story of 16-year-old Daniel, nicknamed "Sprout" because of his obsession with dyeing his hair green, who is being tutored by his English teacher to prepare for an Essay Contest for the end of the year. He moved from Long Island to Kansas after his mother passed away from cancer. Sprout wants to write his essay on his sexuality, but his tutor, Mrs. Miller, begins by convincing him that wouldn't be the best idea due to the fact that he was in rural Kansas. It's hard to talk about this book without giving too much away. But basically it is the story about his crushes, family struggles, friendships, sex life, and his developing life-changing relationship with a boy.
I was surprised by the fact that the writing style that the author uses in this book is very similar to the way I write. So if you enjoy my blog and the subtle humor I sometimes use, you will definitely enjoy the book. Sprout could easily be the prequel to TristanTalks, although I can't decide if I'd be lucky or unlucky to have a past like Sprout's. The book itself is written in first person, so you know exactly what is going through Sprouts mind the entire time.
While this book is fiction, it almost feels too realistic to not be autobiographical in some aspects. Plus, with the author's name being Dale Peck, he was most likely called "Pecker" as a child, which is probably the equivalent analogy to a penis as "Sprout". But that's just a guess. The REAL connection is even more surprising. The book is dedicated to a man named Lamoine Wiebe with the following statement, "in the hope that he'll always find his way back home." Without giving anything away, this sounds very much like a reference to the boy that Sprout becomes involved with later in the book. So me, being the overly curious internet-obsessed teenager that I am, Googled the name. It turns out that a man by the same name (and state) is accused of murdering his father in 2011 and 2 weeks ago faced his preliminary hearing. This came as a huge shock to me because 1) The boy who I believe was based off of Lamoine in the story had a horrible, abusive father and 2) This book was published in 2009, but the author was born in 1967, making the events that probably took place having to have occurred in the early 1980s. I am now fascinated by the topic and the possibility that Lamoine was the character in the book and would love to get in contact with the author to hear his opinion on the issue. However, I have been unable to find any contact information for Dale Peck online.
Here is a link to where you can purchase the book. You can get a used paperback version for less than $2. Yes, I do get a portion of the profit when you purchase using the link below. So think of it as not only a gift to yourself, but a donation to help keep the blog running (I just paid for another year of owning TristanTalks.com). You will definitely not regret it.