I recently reviewed the audio version of John Goode’s Tales of Foster High. As soon as I was done listening I had a brief moment of debate. Do I wait for more audio, or do I pick up the eBook version of the next story. I think it took me all of one minute to choose option B. I had to know more about Kyle and Brad.
Title: End of the Innocence (Tales of Foster High)
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Tales from Foster High: Book Two
Kyle Stilleno is no longer the invisible boy, and he doesn’t quite know how he feels about it. On one hand, he now has a great boyfriend, Brad Greymark, and a handful of new friends, and even a new job. On the other hand, no one screamed obscenities at him in public when he was invisible.
No one expected him to become a poster boy for gay rights, either—at least not until Kyle stepped out of the closet and into the limelight. But there are only a few months of high school left, and Kyle doubts he can make a difference.
With Christmas break drawing closer, Kyle and Brad are changing their lives to include each other. While the trials are far from over, they have their relationship to lean on. Others are not so lucky. One of their classmates needs their help—but Kyle and Brad’s relationship may be too new to survive the strain.
Where do I begin? I am not exactly sure what more I can say about this novel. I loved getting to know Kyle and Brad in Book 1 of this series (formerly books 1-3, confusing, I know). Of course, I have a soft spot for Kyle (I always do for the nerds, after all). In book one, they went from being seemly enemies to best friends and boyfriends. Kyle went from invisible to out and… well not proud precisely… accepting. Brad when from in-the-closet big man on campus to doting boyfriend and a virtual leper. Both dealt with their share of bullies and bigots. Okay, so are we up to date now?
End of the Innocence is an intense look at the aftermath of the events of Tales From Foster High. The impact of coming out in a conservative town. There are supporters, detractors, bigots, and bullies. There are extreme reactions on both sides. There is revenge taken too far. There is a look at the evils that can be engendered when people fall into a mob-mentality and stop thinking for themselves. I found myself repeatedly yelling out “EXACTLY” while reading this novel. It is a very real look at what can happen when a teen feels they have no one on their side. It is a heartbreaking look at what a little “harmless” revenge can induce.
My favorite scene in the entire story was when Kyle stood up and defended himself and his friends against a militant preacher. I loved how he turned the book the priest used to defend his bigotry around and showed just how narrow-minded and hypocritical that view is.
He gave me a grin that looked more like a threat than an actual smile. “We are told that even the devil can quote scripture for his own good.”
I smiled back at him. “Yes, we are told that by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. Not quite the Bible, but close.”
This story is the End of the Innocence for both main characters. It is when Kyle comes out of his fog of invisibility and takes a stand. It is when Brad realizes that, though his life is not what it once was, he is in a better place, and life isn’t over. It is when everyone in Foster receives the ultimate wake-up call that they way they have been existing, isn’t acceptable for anyone.
In conclusion, I have one question… is 151 Days out yet?
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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