Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Review: Love Drugged by James Klise

Jamie didn't mean to lie to everyone, steal untested drugs and most of all he didn't mean to commit that little crime. He just wanted to be normal, have a girlfriend and do the things high school students do. Jamie suspects he might be gay, but he's not ready to tell anyone about it, yet. He'll wait for the safe world of "after high school", where people don't use words like "gay" or "queer" to define negative things (like homework).

His relationship with Celia starts out innocently, with a school club project. He starts working with the beautiful, smart and rich Celia Gamez. Jamie truly likes her, and while his best friend Wesley thinks Jamie is out of his league, the two start hanging out, and soon it turns into something more. However, Jamie isn't sure how to be a boyfriend, and he's pretty sure he should be more attracted to Celia.

Just when Jamie wishes there was something to make him feel normal, Celia's dad shows Jamie his latest project: a drug designed to take away desire in homosexual males. Jamie steals a few doses of this untested, unapproved, drug to try and "cure" his thoughts about other boys. This could be his big shot at normal. Of course, there are side effects, and the drug doesn't seem to make him attracted to Celia. Is all the trouble the drug causes worth it?

Love Drugged looks at issues such as first relationships, high school, sexuality and prescription drugs in a way that is sure to create a lot of discussion. Jamie, like a lot of high school students, is not sure of who he is, and wants to fit into a normal mold, even if he hurts himself to do so. There is an interesting secondary story with Jamie's best friend and his decision to stop taking Ritalin, a drug he was prescribed by his doctor to help with his ADD.

Author James Klise does a great job balancing Jamie's issues with humor, and realistic details of his life. Any one who has ever wished there was a magic pill to "fix" thier problems, will have a lot to think about after reading Love Drugged. Fans of books like David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy, David La Rochelle's Absolutely Positively Not, and Jame's Howe's Totally Joe, you'll enjoy Love Drugged.

I'll see you @ the library!