Book Reviews

Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase at Prizm Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Jamie Deacon on 06-September-2012

Book Blurb

Jamie’s pretty much your average gay teenager. He’s not out with his folks, he’s got a crush on a fellow high school athlete, and his life isn’t perfect. It’s a good thing he has his friend, Billy, to take his mind off things, and to show him that all things are possible.

Billy seems to be all Jamie isn’t. Billy’s openly gay, he has enough money to follow fashion trends, and he’s got dates all the time. Lots of them. With older men. When Billy starts acting weird and hiding things from him, Jamie’s whole life seems to tilt off its axis.

His stepfather, who has never been the greatest role model, escalates his behavior until Jamie dreads going home. His English teacher assigns him tutoring sessions with the object of his crush, the gorgeous track star Dylan. Jamie’s not even sure he can talk to Dylan, let alone tutor him, but it’s impossible to talk to Billy about it. Billy’s too wrapped up in a very dangerous game they call bug chasing: trying to catch HIV.

Learning about Billy’s risk-taking nearly shatters their friendship, and forces Jamie to look at the world in a whole new way. Can Jamie try to keep Billy safe and still stay on top of homework, a new boyfriend, and keeping his step-father in line?


Book Review

People aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes the face they present to the world is merely a mask worn to conceal deep-rooted insecurities, and even those closest to us are capable of hiding their innermost fears. So high school student Jamie discovers, both to his detriment and his gain, in this coming of age novel by Dakota Chase.


Jamie is having a hard time. He’s long since known he’s gay, but has been forced to keep quiet about it to avoid further abuse from his stepdad. As it is, his stepdad’s erratic behavior has reached the point that Jamie dreads going home. Even Billy, Jamie’s rebellious, openly gay best friend, has suddenly become secretive, refusing to discuss his relationship with a clearly unsuitable older guy. It feels to Jamie as if every aspect of his life is falling apart. He’s in desperate need of some moral support, something which comes to him from a wholly unexpected quarter.


When his English teacher assigns him tutoring sessions with gorgeous track star Dylan, Jamie is thrown into greater confusion. Surely spending time with the object of his crush can lead to nothing but humiliation and disappointment. What he doesn’t anticipate is that there’s far more to Dylan than his dumb jock persona, and that Dylan will prove to be the rock he’s looking for. As the two boys work together to uncover the dangerous game Billy has become involved in, a genuine friendship blossoms between them, along with a mutual attraction. Each finds in the other someone with whom he can be entirely himself. Yet, with both Jamie and Dylan reluctant to come out either at home or at school, it may be that their budding romance is doomed before it has even got off the ground.


Changing Jamie is a sweet novel about falling in love, coming out and learning to accept yourself for the person you are. It may seem to Jamie that everyone around him is changing, but in fact it is he whom we see grow and mature throughout the narrative. Though the story deals with some sensitive issues, such as domestic violence and the dangers associated with HIV and AIDS, it does so without straying into overly grim territory. If you like teen fiction with an equal measure of grit and positivity, you may well enjoy this book.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Prizm Books for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 127 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-September-2008
Buy Link