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Saturday, February 20, 2010

GLBT Challenge 2010: February Mini-Challenge

Main Challenge: GLBT Challenge 2010

February's Mini-Challenge
Read a GLBT book, short story, poem(s), or essay by or about a person of color.

I have two offerings for this mini-contest, and instead of posting the full reviews (which I will link to) I'll just put blurbs that highlight the POC-related material.

by Perry Moore

excerpt on GLBT themes:
Goran I believe should have gotten a larger part in the story. He is very similar to Thom in that he is also a community volunteer and basketball player, with the burden of having to support his little brother. His romance with Thom starts out as a friendly and quiet rivalry, and grows as they each struggle with their own feelings and secrets. I do like that their relationship didn't feel rushed, but I would have liked to see more of their interaction.
excerpt on POCs:
One such issue is the one of interracial relationships. There are at least two couples in this book that are made up of a white person and a POC. Despite that they do discuss issues of interracial relationships being discriminated against, and the horrors of war outside the First World bubble, the issue is merely used to provide a tragic flair for the character's past and is never returned to again. I really wish the author had taken more time to flesh out these issues.
read my full review

Love is the Higher Law
by David Levithan

excerpt on GLBT themes:
As well, I felt that the gay themes in this book was handled very refreshingly. For one there were multiple gay characters besides Jasper and Peter, so their romance was less about clinging to the first gay guy that agrees to go out with them. There are also various supporting friends if not family members, and the dates are adorably awkward. The little bit about sexually active gay individuals being forbidden from donating blood even during such a disaster was just one of the many interesting details that really helped me sympathize with what the characters have to live with.
excerpt on POCs:
Now Jasper, I believe, brings the most life to the novel. He's a gay Korean university undergrad, who is unabashedly blunt, amusingly witty, and undergoes the greatest character development. [...] I do love that Jasper snarks about how American guys never expect an Asian person to ask about stuff outside math and stuff, much less homosexuality lol. There was also a lot more development in Jasper's cultural roots near the end when he visits Korea. He talks about the North/South Korea divide, and about accessing his underused understanding of Korean. I also did love the struggle he had with expressing his feelings towards his emotionally stunted father and overcompensatingly caring mother.
read my full review
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