Young, Sarah L. “Nice Jewish Boys”, Less Than Three Press, 2017.
A New Reality
At first, Avishai Miller seems to be a typical kid. However his mother is dead, he barely speaks to his father, and he’s secretly dating Noah, a male classmate at his Jewish private school. When their relationship is discovered, everything they know changes, and they struggle to find their place in a new, unwelcoming reality.
When I was a youngster, I thought that I was the only gay teen in the world but now I know I was not alone. Avishai was lucky to have Noah so they could navigate life together. Noah and Avishai are characters that we can relate to and it is quite easy to love them just as they love each other. However, of course this is no Utopia for the boys— they face challenges within their community and with their parents, but they work things out together. They have some serious issues that to face just as all LGBT youth do. I just wish there had been a book like this when I was growing up.
There are no great surprises or earth shattering revelations but that is just fine. We are empathetic to the boys who face very real challenges. I understand that the author wrote this when she was just 15 years old and for that alone she must be commended.
The development of the characters throughout the book portrays the reality of how people can grow. It is fascinating to read about being gay and Jewish in characters that are so young. We do not often get observant Jewish gay characters in gay literature
I really love how the boys deal with the consequences in a Jewish religious environment.