T.E.D., Jayson James
Genre: YA, LGBT (G)
Length: 284 pages
Purchase At: amazon.com
“I have no idea what to write about.”
Like Tim, who is quoted above, I have no idea what to write about approaching T.E.D. I can honestly say that this is a unique book, with an interesting take on the multiple POV idea. The official blurb is just below and should give you a quick idea about this unusual novel.
TIM is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.
ERIC is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.
DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.
Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.
Using multiple POVs is nothing new in literature, but in T.E.D. the use goes to a whole new plane for me. Each chapter is structured the same way, giving us insights from Tim, Eric and Deslin. Each is written in it’s own unique way; Tim’s being in the form of a diary, and the others in entirely separate third-person threads.
Despite each thread being unique they slowly twist and turn around each other, forming a beautiful and insightful story when taken in together. This, in turn, kept the book well paced and easy to read; I kept wanting to turn the page, to find out what was going to happen to these three boys next.
Real, Relatable Characters
The characters themselves, especially Eric and Deslin, paint a picture of what it’s like to live in a place like Chandler, which has a ‘small town mentality’. All three characters suffer from abuse hurled their way because of their sexual preference and, unfortunately, that’s exactly what many teens face when they to school. When you’re alone this torment can be overwhelming – the main characters can certainly feel this growing, and they keep living their closeted lives.
N.O.T. S.O. T.E.R.R.I.F.I.C
In this text Tim’s section are the most insightful and the most detailed; as such, they are also the most difficult to comprehend. To be quite blunt, my main problem with this book is that for the majority of his sections Tim comes across as an whiny, immature 10 year old with his dialogue. Occasionally there will be insights and sections where he feels much more mature, but these are overshadowed by the former issue. However, the actions do not match the words, so to speak – while Tim’s acts and deeds make him seem like a mature 15 year old, his dialogue just does not match this.
There is also a number of editing errors in T.E.D., nothing more that a final line edit would’ve picked up. I won’t dwell on it too much, but it’s definitely something that should be mentioned.
T.E.D. is a good story, but falls short of being called great. As I said at the beginning of this review I believe that there is a unique feel to this book and, amongst the crowd of coming out high school novels, this is definitely a plus. The flaws described above did bring it down in my books, but overall I think it’s a novel worth any readers time.
“I hope you both know you mean a lot to me too.”
A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for an honest review.