Title: The Stone Rainbow
Author: Liane Shaw
Publisher: Second Story Press
Publication date: September 17th, 2019
Seventeen-year-old Jack Pedersen is finding life complicated ever since he came out to his mom. Even though she’s been doing her best to be understanding, it’s obvious to Jack that his mom still wants to cry every time she says the word gay. Complications go into hyperdrive when a new student arrives at school, and Jack starts experiencing feelings he’s never allowed himself to feel before. When a near tragedy turns life upside down, Jack realizes it’s time to stop hiding from himself and everyone around him, and he decides to organize his small town’s first Pride Parade.
**Thank you to Second Story Press, Netgalley, and Liane Shaw for providing me an ebook copy of The Stone Rainbow in exchange for an honest review**
Trigger Warning: homophobia, suicidal ideation, violent acts
Jack is a high school senior who is going through a lot. He lives in a very conservative, small town that doesn’t accept who he is as a homosexual male. He was saved by his friend Ryan after walking into a river without being able to swim. Unclear if he was trying to commit suicide, but he was very overwhelmed about not being himself. Now he’s known as the suicidal, gay kid, which isn’t the best in high school. He is just trying to keep his head down and make it to graduation.
That is, until Benjamin shows up as the new Vice Principal’s kid, and Benjamin is out and proud. Jack is instantly attracted to Benjamin but has no idea how to be attracted to someone, or even date someone. Benjamin also has these crazy ideas about bringing their small town out of the dark ages – like hosting a Pride Parade. Jack has to face his fears about homophobia and expressing himself. When the unimaginable happens, Jack is forced to make a choice…
The Stone Rainbow was a good representation of many areas of the United States. It’s a coming of age story that I’m sure many can relate to and find comfort in. It brings up a conversation around sexuality that has been growing over the last few decades in this country.
I did enjoy this book but it did not wow me. Worth a read, and those who really enjoy contemporaries will enjoy this. There is awesome LGBTQIA and disability representation here, with most of the main cast falling into either category.
Happy reading, book friends! 🙂