friendly reminder that shaun david hutchinson is an amazing and underrated author who has written two awesome books with non-straight main characters and relationships that deal with heavy and relevant topics such as death, grief, bullying, mental illness, depression, and suicide but still manage to have hopeful and happy endings. i recommend them to literally anyone, especially struggling young people, lgbt+ or otherwise.
Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night, just like the rest of his family.
Now he lives in the hospital, serving food in the cafeteria, hanging out with the nurses, sleeping in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him. His only solace is in the world of the superhero he’s created—Patient F.
Then, one night, Rusty is wheeled into the ER, half his body burned by hateful classmates. Rusty’s agony is like a beacon for Drew, pulling them together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside of the hospital, and away from their painful pasts.
But to save Rusty, Drew will have to confront death, and life might get worse before it gets better. And by telling the truth about who he really is, Drew risks any chance of a future…for both of them.
(my notes: think if i stay meets the fault in our stars, but gay. and amazing. helped me through an incredibly hard time.)
Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year. Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.
But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.
(my notes: though they are incredibly different stories, this book left me with the same feeling that aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe did. YEAH. i’m serious.)