Thursday, August 6, 2009

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
"David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems."- Summary from

I really enjoyed this novel. Bantle's debut YA is a refreshing look at a coming-out story and is realistic as well as honest in its portrayals of the struggles teens face with sexuality, coming out, and being themselves. The book is a quick read, and the characters are well-written and three-dimensional even in the short length of this novel. The prose is compelling and will leave readers thinking about friendship, sexuality, and acceptance. David's experiences about dealing with his sexuality differ vastly from my own, but I know his thoughts and concerns will resonate with those struggling to accept themselves and come out. It's not just a book for people struggling with their sexuality though; it can be for people whose friends are gay, or even for people struggling with being themselves in other ways aside from sexuality. Definitely a recommended book.


Ms. Yingling said...

Not many books written on cross country running of any kind. This does look intriguing.

david elzey said...

I'm curious, since one of the irrational fears homophobes have is that gay athletes are scoping them out in the locker room (which makes them uncomfortable and pushes them towards intolerance), whether that is touched on in any way.

Lee Bantle said...

I wanted to stop by and thank you belatedly for the review and for bringing some attention to the book. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. That heartens me as a writer. And it is so important to get boys to read!

David struggles against the disapproving messages he gets from society and his peers. I'm afraid that is something gay teens still face. We lost the fundamental human right to marriage in California in 2008. That's pretty scary.

But your experience coming to terms was obviously different. I'm glad. I'd love to know how things were for you.