Book Reviews

The Thunder in His Head by Gene Gant at Harmony Ink Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Jamie Deacon on 07-October-2012

Book Blurb

Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school's basketball team. He's a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life has become a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe's serial cheating. Kyle's parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him. Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents' lives. He likes Stephanie, his father's girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother's handsome boyfriend, Reece. As Kyle struggles with his fear and frustration, he grows angrier and more erratic. Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn't solve all Kyle's problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle's harried life. But Dwight's life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight-and about his father.

Young Adult Age Range: 14 to 18 years old

Book Review

We’re never too old to make mistakes. It can be a tough lesson, and one which sixteen-year-old Kyle Manning finds particularly painful to deal with. Fast paced and fraught with conflict, this is an authentic coming of age novel about discovering that no one, not even our parents, is perfect, and accepting the people we love for all there faults.

Everything is getting on top of Kyle at the moment. One of his best friends is struggling with serious self-confidence issues, his parents are headed for divorce, and he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mom’s new boyfriend. Add to this the fact that there are always kids eager to have a go at him for being gay, and it’s hardly surprising Kyle’s angry all the time. He’s forever getting into fights, and his mom is terrified he will one day take it too far and end up throwing away his future in jail.

Then Kyle meets Dwight, good-looking and great to talk to, and embarks on his first proper relationship. For a while, under Dwight’s steadying influence, he is better able to cope. Yet, even the best of us do stupid things we later regret. In a few disastrous hours, Kyle learns that neither Dwight nor the father he adores is quite what he believed, and the truth sends him over the edge. Fueled by rage and betrayal, he flings himself into a potentially dangerous situation, which, as it happens, proves to be the turning point in his life.

The author tackles a whole host of issues in this novel, from relationship break-ups and falling in love, to eating disorders and anger management. What I enjoyed most about it though was the realism of the plot. Nothing is exaggerated or overstated, and having witnessed my own parents' divorce, I could really relate to everything Kyle goes through. So if you’re in the mood for a story about real teens coping with true-to-life situations, I can definitely recommend 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 Harmony Ink Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 61747 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-May-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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