I’ve been meaning to read John Goode for a long time, and I never really had the chance until recently. This book popped up for review and the blurb intrigued me. I’d been on a real YA kick at the time, and this was everything I wanted in a really good YA story with LGBT characters. It has fun, romance, excitement and intrigue.
Everyone has that one summer, the summer where you take your first steps into adulthood. The nights are longer, the songs are better, and the friends you make are forever. For Jordan, Brandon, Ethan, and Dominic, that summer is now. This pack of self-proclaimed nerds set out on an adventure that defines every young man’s life—the search for love, or at least what they think love is. As with all great quests there are pitfalls and challenges ahead of them and they will have to overcome their greatest enemy, their own egos. But the power of true friendship could give them the strength they need to complete their quest and win their prize.
John Goode is a member of the class of ’88 from Hogwarts school of wizardry, specializing in incantations and spoken spells. At the age of 14 he proudly represented District 13 in the 65th Panem games where he was disqualified for crying uncontrollably before the competition began. After that he moved to Forks, Washington where, against all odds, dated the hot, incredibly approachable werewolf instead of the stuck up jerk of a vampire but was crushed when he found out the werewolf was actually gayer than he was. After that he turned down the mandatory operation everyone must receive at 16 to become pretty citing that everyone pretty were just too stupid to live before moving away for greener pastures. After falling down an oddly large rabbit hole he became huge when his love for cakes combined with his inability to resist what sparsely worded notes commanded and was finally kicked out when he began playing solitaire with the Red Queen’s 4th armored division. By 18 he had found the land in the back of his wardrobe but decided that thinly veiled religious allegories where not the neighbors he desired. When last seen he had become obsessed with growing a pair of wings after becoming obsessed with Fang’s blog and hasn’t been seen since.
Or he is this guy who lives in this place and writes stuff he hopes you read.
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
Jordan vs All the Boys, by John Goode
POV: 1st person, past tense
Loved it. You should read it. It will make you happy.
Everything about this book was brilliant. From the snark, the sarcasm, the teen awkwardness, the geekiness, and the flashbacks it gave me to my own high school years; it had everything a great YA novel should have – with a few swear words and sexy bits thrown in that any 15+ yo could handle.
This was my first book by the author, only because I’m so stupidly behind on my TBR list that it’s painful. And I loved everything about it. The writing style, the characterisation, and – though I’m normally not a fan of breaking the 4th wall – even the way that Jordan spoke directly to the reader. I’m not a video game player or a RPG or MMO player, so I know nothing about WoW except what I’ve read in books, so I loved the snippets where Jordan broke in to explain terms to me. I really needed it, most of the time. I also loved the whole DC vs Marvel argument, the comic book mentions and the very apt Big Bang Theory comparisons.
I was immediately sucked in by Jordan, who had all the snark, geekiness and attitude that I love in an MC. But I also grew to love his friends just as much; Brandon, Ethan, Dominic and Sawyer. They were all brilliant characters. I loved the girls, too, sticking up for womankind and trying to help guide the boys through the navigation of clubbing and dating. I loved that they all grew up and grew closer due to the events of that one summer they spent together. The ‘Jesus Jar’ was a great twist, and although I saw the twist at the end coming I loved how it was handled even more.
If you want a story that is laugh-out-loud funny, snort-into-your-drink embarrassing, full of teenagers getting into trouble, pushy dating scenes, sarcasm, and oblivious straight friends embarking on dating for the first time, then this is the book for you. It has everything a great YA should have, with a central LGBT character and a journey not just through dating and love, but through friendship. These boys have each other’s backs, no matter what.
Jordan vs All the Boys it hits you right in the feels and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
P.S. Make sure you read beyond the Author’s Note to get the extra-special Postcredits Scene.
“Some guys wrestled, some guys had spitting contests, some guys lifted their shirts and compared their abs… my crew and I, we argued if Captain America was right in Civil War or not.”
“You see junior high guys with girlfriends and you get all jealous because you want someone to watch Stranger Things with and you want someone to play Overwatch with that you can kiss after you win, but if you’re gay, that doesn’t happen very often or at all.”
“as soon as we were done kissing, I made a run back into my cave to kill the beast.
Only this time, I had someone to come with me.
And isn’t that the best part of the adventure?”