Boy Girl Boy

Title: Boy Girl Boy
Author: Ron Koertge
Pub Date: 2007
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, LGBT
Challenges: YA, LGBT

At first I was a bit put off by this book. Boy Girl Boy is told through three different characters, and I make no qualms in saying that I am not a big fan of this format at all. I think that it is very difficult to pull off. Rarely does an author capable of creating three distinct voices. Koertge is not an exception here.

Elliot, Teresa, and Larry are three very different teens who have all been friends with one and another since they were kids. Elliot is the gorgeous jock, Teresa is the brainy chick who’s been hot for Elliot for a couple of years, and Larry is the token gay boy living in a small town that believes his gayness is a sin.

OK, I realize so far this book doesn’t seem like it would be worthwhile, right? I mean, already, I’ve snubbed the writing convention and then I rolled my eyes at the stereotypical teen characters. But here’s the thing. I don’t know why it works, but it does!

Elliot, Teresa, and Larry all plan on escaping their small town immediately after graduation. California seems like just the place to start a new life. Their motivations are all quite different – Teresa’s father has become emotionally empty since the mother ran away and Larry knows that as an out gay man, he needs to go to a larger city where acceptance is closer to the norm rather than prayers. Only Elliot is reluctant about the move. He’s pretty okay with being in the small town for the most part. Sure, he won’t go to college, but he could take over his father’s butcher business. He happens to be pretty good at that, even if he’s not so good at being smart.

It’s interesting to see how the three friends change over the course of a couple of months. Between Larry meeting someone, Teresa fighting her feelings of Elliot, and Elliot caught in the middle of his friends’ dreams and his, Boy Girl Boy is a quick read.

[Side note 1] On the GLBT focus, Larry truly is a great character. Although he is casted as the token gay kid in a small town, there is much more to his personality. He’s clever and caring…you know, essentially believable and a person that I’d probably want to hang out with IRL. The attacks on Larry are also portrayed in a realistic manner without going over and beyond to illustrate a point.

[Side note 2] Terresa got on my last bloody nerve. What is up with me not connecting with the female ladies lately? Sheesh. I have personality, why can’t they?


  1. I must admit that I'm not really sure quite yet whether I want to read this book or not! I think I'll give it a miss- I can only take so much teen angst in novels before it gets on my nerves and if the girl annoys you...

  2. I actually kind of love it when that happens...when a book has everything to fail and yet somehow succeeds.

  3. I'm glad Larry overcomes the token gay guy stereotype.


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