Tales from Foster High (Tales from Foster High (Young Adult ) #1-3), John Goode
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Bullying, High School, Series
Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.
Maybe With a Chance of Certainty
The End of the Beginning
Raise Your Glass
I adore this book so much and it is very hard for me to put into words how wonderful the story is. Kyle is the first MC. He has a rough home life and he’s invisible at school. He wants to keep it that way because he’s gay and he doesn’t want everyone to find out. Being inside his head, you can see how sad he really is, even if he doesn’t realize it himself. One thing that hits you as you start the story is the first line.
I DON’T remember the moment I knew I was broken.
That’s right! It’s the very first line of the story, and really, it’s a constant thing throughout the beginning of the story. I fell in love with Kyle almost instantly. He is smart, funny, and strong. He might not always seem strong, but he is.
Then we have Brad. Brad is the popular jock with a girlfriend who everyone thinks is perfect. On the outside he is! He is a handsome, straight guy who likes to play baseball and he comes from a wealthy family. The thing is, inside Brad’s head, Brad is really unhappy. He doesn’t feel the way others do about himself and he hides the truth about his sexuality on a daily basis. As the story progresses you really get a sense of how he feels about himself and life in general.
The key to being popular is acting like it means absolutely nothing to you. It’s like life goes out of its way to give you what it thinks you don’t want, which would make life kind of mean if you think about it.
So these two guys come together and something starts between them. But they have to deal with a lot. It’s not just bullying, but blatant homophobia. And it’s not only other kids. There are adults in his book that could do with a lesson in respect.
There are quite a few secondary characters. Kyle’s mom for one, who I am really surprised with. She is not the type of character I would normally like in any way, but she did have her good points. I think she was there when she really needed to be, but there were times in Kyle’s past she really was a bad mother. I don’t blame Kyle for feeling the way he does about her.
Then you have Brad’s parents. They really aren’t a whole lot better than Kyle’s mom. But they do have their importance to the story, so I can’t really say I wish they weren’t it in. But like Kyle’s mom, they could have been better parents.
There are other important secondary characters who have a big role. But Kelly is really a character who stands out for me, and not in a good way. He is a nasty piece of work and I feel very little sympathy for him. I will, however, admit that Brad could have dealt with him a lot better in the past.
I love stories about coming out and that is what the first installment of the series is about. Not only is it about coming out, but it’s also about acceptance and homophobia. It is about two young men who are just trying to survive life and the challenges gay teenagers face in the world. Not only that, but it is a story about finding love and fighting to keep it, even when we make mistakes.
Overall, this is a really great start to the Foster High series. If you like YA books and want to try something with two wonderful characters and a great story, then this is the series to try.