Author: Alex Gino
Genre: LGBTQ+ , Contemporary
Pages: 240 (Kindle)
Publisher: Scholastic Fiction
Published: 7th May 2020
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Good morning everyone!
As part of Beyond a Bookshelf's A-Spec August Reading Challenge, my next read was Alex Gino's book 'Rick'. I chose this book as part of the 'contemporary, historical and/or romance' section, particularly the contemporary. If you'd like to read my previous book review for Alice Oseman's 'Loveless' as part of my TBR, click here.
Rick follows the journey of a young boy (you guessed it!) named Rick, as he starts middle school along with his best friend Jeff. Rick begins to question his identity and sexuality, and notices that he doesn't feel the same way about relationships in comparison to Jeff. He decides to join the school's Rainbow Spectrum club to find out more about himself, however Jeff is homophobic and makes some harmful comments about LGBTQ+ which puts Rick in a difficult situation...
This book is written for young teens, and considering this, it is well written. It introduces different identities, sexualities and LGBTQ+ issues sensitively to younger audiences. This book includes a non-binary character named Green, male-to-female transgender character and many more identities and sexualities which many younger people may relate to. There's also a message about bullying and toxic friendships. I wouldn't say that it's written with older teens/young adults in mind, yet it is ideal for younger readers.
The characterisation was okay. I did feel that the parents and Rick's grandpa were unrealistic as they were a little too perfect, does that make sense? Maybe I'm just being harsh there! Yet, there were plenty of messages behind the characterisation, such as bullying and opening up about experiences.
Although I read this as part of the A-Spec August Challenge to educate myself and learn more about asexuality and the a-spectrum, I didn't feel that into much depth regarding the character's asexuality. However, that being said, it mentions many different sexualities and identities that would be educational to a younger audience and those who are unsure of their identity growing up.
Overall, I'd rate this book a three out of five stars, only because I don't believe I was the intended audience of this book yet I understand the benefits it could potentially give to a younger audience. As mentioned above, this book does include homophobic characters and bullying.
What did you think of this book? Is this Rick on your TBR?
Take care and stay safe,
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