Review of Zach’s Secret by Matthew W. Grant

Zach's SecretZach’s Secret by Matthew W. Grant

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book made me sad: there was so much potential there, and none of it was realised!

This should have been fantastic:
Nerdy high school boy struggling with his sexuality
New transfer kid, star basketball player, who’s gay
First boyfriend
Evil school principal
Teacher with dead gay son
Religious best friends
Bullying jocks
Demonstrations and court cases

Come on! All the ingredients were there for a fantastic dramatic and angsty coming out story! And instead we got treated to the longest most boring rendition of a senior year, ever! Seriously! This story is told in the first person and yet Zach feels NOTHING! Not once do we get treated to emotions or his feelings about things. Nothing! So sad! So much potential wasted.

The evil principal story was a bit OTT, but I could have lived with that, if we had had the teen drama at the foreground. But we didn’t. Things happen and Zach doesn’t react to anything, he just tells us that it’s happening. Also I never felt that he was in any way shape or form actually attracted to Key? I know this was YA, but still… they were 18 years old. A bit of sexual tension or at least a kiss could surely have made it on page without insulting anyone’s sensibilities?

The writing started out ok, but became clunkier along the way. And the few trips outside Zach’s head felt completely off, as they were still narrated as “My mother did this and that…” even if Zach wasn’t actually there to witness it…

So yeah, very disappointing, even if the premise was good. I listened to the audio version, which might have made it even worse, as the narrator chosen was a very mature male voice, which was all wrong for the 1st person narrative of a teenage boy.

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