Book Review: Social Intercourse

Title: Social Intercourse

Author: Greg Howard

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+

My rating: 3.8/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Beckett Gaines, a gay teen living in South Carolina, has his world turned upside-down by a jock in this laugh-out-loud novel that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Parent Trap.

Beck:
The Golden Girls-loving, out-and-proud choir nerd growing up in the “ass-crack of the Bible belt.”

Jax:
The Golden Boy, star quarterback with a slick veneer facing uncomfortable truths about himself and his past.

When Beck’s emotionally fragile dad starts dating the recently single (and supposedly lesbian) mom of former bully, Jaxon Parker, Beck is not having it. Jax isn’t happy about the situation either, holding out hope that his moms will reunite and restore the only stable home he’s ever known. Putting aside past differences, the boys plot to derail the budding romance between their parents at their conservative hometown’s first-ever Rainbow Prom. Hearts will be broken, new romance will bloom, but nothing will go down the way Beck and Jax have planned.

In his hilarious and provocative debut, Greg Howard examines the challenges of growing up different in a small southern town through the lens of colorful and unforgettable characters who stay with you long after the last drop of sweet tea.

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I was really interested when I found out about this book since it’s been said that it is similar to a favorite of mine—Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. I literally scoured our local bookstore looking for the lone copy they had! Now I’ve finally read it, and although I have a lot of conflicted feelings about certain things, I still enjoyed reading this.

The writing

I really loved the writing style and the tone of this book. There were times that I was seriously laughing out loud. It was fun, hilarious, quirky, and it really gave me a solid representation of the character’s thoughts and emotions, and their personality as a whole. On the other hand, there were times that there were a couple of sexist comments or gestures towards women. And I found that bit of writing disturbing.

The characters

I liked the characters enough, but there were some things about them that I didn’t like.

Beckett, one of the main characters, is out and proud. I actually love that about him—he was open and honest about his sexuality no matter what. What I didn’t like about him is that he tends to have sexist comments towards women, especially towards Tracee. But those could just be fueled by his apparent disapproval of her relationship with his father. Beckett also seems to fail in grasping the idea of bisexuality, which is odd because as an out and proud gay, he should have been aware and he should have been more understanding of other sexual orientation. But Jax coming out and admitting that he is attracted to both genders sends Beckett into this biphobic state. The same thing goes for Jax. It’s like he couldn’t even think of his mom possibly being bisexual, when he’s bisexual himself. That’s really odd and concerning for me, and it has me confused.

I also noticed that a lot of characters in this book exhibits high school stereotypes. The jocks who tormented the odd students, the bitchy and, dare I say it, slutty cheerleaders. It was interesting and it helped move the story further, but at the same time, I wanted to see more than the usual cliche characters.

The plot

The plot was interesting enough. We have two boys who don’t run in the same social circles, try to bond and find a way to separate their parents who are dating, but they end up having feelings for each other in the end instead. Amidst all that, we also see them try to deal with the unnecessary hate that was being thrown to the LGBTQ+ community, and then we see people come together for their so-called Rainbow Prom, and I just really loved that.

I also love how the ending didn’t turn too sexual. Because throughout the whole story, we see Beckett try to engage in sexual activities (keyword: try), and there were also some sexual scenes regarding other characters, and so, I was actually expecting maybe a graphic scene at the end when he and Jax will finally get together. But the author managed to surprise me with that sweet and innocent (innocent enough) ending. And I really really liked that.

Quotes from the book

“You can’t control what those fools hear or think. All you can do is tell your truth. Just be honest with them. They’ll respect you for it. At least some of them will. Maybe more than you think.”

“Feelings are messy things…”

“And he should really smile more, because when he does, he lights up the freaking room.”

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Long time no post! Been busy lately with work and at home, and I haven’t had a lot of time to make reviews 😦 Plus my laptop has been malfunctioning as well, so I couldn’t use it properly. *cries*

Anyway, there goes one of my October reads! Have you read this book yet? Comment down below!

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