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Skater Boy: Coming-of-Age Story – LGBT Review

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Stonebridge High’s resident bad boy, Wesley “Big Mac” Mackenzie, is failing senior year—thanks to his unchecked anger, rowdy friends, and a tendency to ditch his homework for skateboarding and a secret photography habit. So when his mom drags him to a production of The Nutcracker, Wes isn’t interested at all . . . until he sees Tristan Monroe. Mr. Nutcracker himself.

Wes knows he shouldn’t like Tristan; after all, he’s a ballet dancer, and Wes is as closeted as they come. But when they start spending time together, Wes can’t seem to get Tristan out of his head. Driven by a new sense of purpose, Wes begins to think that—despite every authority figure telling him otherwise—maybe he can change for the better and graduate on time.

As a falling out with his friends becomes inevitable, Wes realizes that being himself means taking a stand—if only he can blow up the bad-boy reputation he never wanted in the first place.

Rating: 4.5
Good Book!
Great Plot
LGBTQIA Relevance

This well-written book by Anthony Nerada tells the captivating story of a young man who finds himself trapped in the role of a “bad boy.” Despite his desire to break free from this image, he struggles to balance his longing for authenticity with the fear of losing himself and the people he holds dear.

Skater Boy is a remarkable young adult debut that beautifully captures the essence of coming-of-age and coming-out experiences. The author skillfully weaves a narrative that will not only tug at your heartstrings but also leave you with a smile on your face.

The protagonist’s journey is relatable and heartfelt, as he grapples with the societal expectations placed upon him while yearning for acceptance and understanding. Through his trials and triumphs, readers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, cheering for his growth and self-discovery.

Nerada’s writing style is engaging and evocative, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the story and connect with the characters on a deep level. The book explores themes of identity, friendship, and the power of self-acceptance, making it a must-read for young adults and anyone who appreciates a heartfelt coming-of-age tale.

Skater Boy is a testament to the power of authenticity and the courage it takes to embrace who we truly are. It reminds us that by staying true to ourselves, we can find love, acceptance, and happiness, even in the face of adversity.

So, if you’re looking for a book that will warm your heart and leave you with a renewed sense of hope, look no further than Skater Boy by Anthony Nerada.

Anthony Nerada PhotoAnthony Nerada became a writer after his fifth-grade teacher told him it was his destiny. Since then, he’s read too many books (if there even is such a thing) and explored worlds far outside the reaches of his own.

He holds a BA in psychology and two diplomas (one in public relations, the other in publishing), which allow him to write the day away while simultaneously psychoanalyzing his friends. Anthony lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. Skater Boy is his debut novel.

Anthony Nerada | Skater Boy | Hardcover | $18.99 US/$24.99 CAN | ISBN: 9781641295345

ON SALE: February 6, 2024 | Soho Teen

Praise for Skater Boy

“Nerada offers a nuanced and realistic glimpse into the pressure and the chaos and the growing pains of being a teenager, and what can happen when you open up and share your full, true self. A brilliant debut.”
—Rachael Lippincott, New York Times bestselling author of She Gets the Girl

“Skater Boy is the beautifully written, poignant story of Wes, an angry, lonely boy struggling to find his place in the world. Anthony Nerada deftly handles Wes’s character arc as he learns to love himself. An impressive debut.”
—Liz Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of The Agathas, The Night in Question and The Lucky Ones

“In his witty and vulnerable debut, Nerada reminds us that labels are pointless, love is for everyone, and that it is a truth universally known that everybody LOVES a ‘bad boy’ with a skateboard and a heart of gold. Honest, authentic, and charming, Skater Boy skillfully highlights that queer kids can’t be put into a box! A voice to watch!”
—Amber McBride, National Book Award finalist and author of Me (Moth)

“A fun, fiery love story for the misunderstood, Skater Boy is the nostalgic, opposites-attract gay romance we deserve! A confectionary pop smash that takes inspiration from its namesake, Nerada has crafted a power ballad of a coming out story for the mainstream punk rocker in all of us.”
—Steven Salvatore, critically acclaimed author of And They Lived . . .

“A closeted teen navigates family trauma, first crushes, and messy friendships in Nerada’s introspective debut . . . Nerada sensitively depicts the lingering effects of Wes’s father’s abuse, and how the trauma from those experiences informs his complicated relationship with himself and others, as well as with opening up.”
—Publishers Weekly

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