Undying Love, Charlie Purcell
Publisher: Prizm Books
Genre: YA LGBTQ (G), Contemporary, Paranormal/Fantasy
Length: 3,700 Words
Reviewer: Kazza K
The Blurb: JT breaks up with his boyfriend David on the day that David dies. Unfortunately for both of them, David was too busy getting hit by a car to realize that they split up. When he comes back from the dead to be with his boyfriend, JT doesn’t know how to tell him that they should probably see other people.
These books in the Prizm Pinch series have been such a good read. Here is another cracker. It may only be 3,700 words but I loved every single word. Nothing went to waste and it is funny, sweet, age appropriate and just refreshing.
JT and David have been going out for over two years, but JT knows that it’s because they’re friends and the only two gay kids at Farber High. JT has been trying to break up with David for some time but something always happens as he’s about to get the words out – David’s dog dies, his tooth gets knocked out, and JT’s breakup note is flipped and a love poem for a school assignment was read instead. The sentence would always begin “David. We need to – “ and something would happen. As far as breaking up was concerned, David kept dodging a bullet and JT kept missing opportunities. Just before Valentines Day JT tries again, but as he’s getting out the usual “David. We need to -“ he thinks that JT is asking him to the Valentine’s Day dance. But this time, as JT is being more forceful with his words, David is hit by a Chevy and dies. Now you would think this short would be terrible and incredibly sad but it isn’t. The narrative is funny and meaningful all at once. The author has a way of getting a point across in a manner that isn’t maudlin about a topic that could easily be badly handled, but never is.
At the funeral everyone turns out and JT can’t bring himself to eulogise as he feels like a fraud, even though his tears are very real. David has been a good friend –
Sure I missed him a lot. He was basically my best friend. I missed his goofy smile and his nose freckles. I missed the way he always said “Dude and “Jeez.” I missed his weird obsession with Oreos. Mostly, I just missed having him around. He was a good guy. But I didn’t love him.
Even new guy, Reggie, tells him he is “brave.” He doesn’t feel brave. He feels bad that he was trying to break up with his boyfriend who is now dead. As a matter of fact, everyone is accepting of JT at school, it doesn’t matter that he’s gay – can you say refreshing. The school closes for a week for everyone to mourn and when JT returns, everyone is incredibly nice to him. So much so, that there is too much sympathy coming his way – even his ex-marine PE teacher, who would normally tell people to suck it up, is being nice. But things change when JT is in shop class and David turns up…unexpectedly –
Just as I was about to bust out the rough-grain sandpaper, I saw David sitting on the next workbench. He smiled and waved at me. “Hey, Dude!” he said.
From here David pops in one more time at school before the Valentine dance, he didn’t get the memo that JT was breaking up with him even in the afterlife, until David finally makes it clear, trust me, he has to. Then things look like they may be going to go a bit Carrie on him – and the school students – at the dance.
If you would like to read a rather endearing and funny LGBTQ YA book with some observational moments, interesting characters, and good dialogue, plus a really good ending, then take a small break from your day to read Undying Love. It may be short, but size does not matter when done right. Worth no less than 5 stars.
When it’s real love, you’re supposed to feel it, right? It should feel electric. Charged….
That was something I waited for, electric hand-holding. It sounds stupid but that’s what I always wanted.