Book Review - Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
This review was originally published on Tumblr on January 14, 2017 as part of an old project of mine, the Diverse/Lady Book Project. In migrating to Substack, I’ve decided to reproduce this post here, for consistency. And because I lost a bunch of old book reviews when other bloggers deleted them from their websites. Please enjoy 2017 Amanda’s review of Jerkbait.
Jerkbait is a book that I needed a long time ago. Not only has homophobia in sports been a thing for way too long, but the assumption that men in musical theater must be LGBT is another thing that needs to be quashed ASAP. These types of stereotypes and assumptions need to be done away with, especially when you consider how some sports (ahem, women’s soccer, ahem) are handling the fact that some of the players are queer exactly the way they should—but just letting them live. LET THEM LIVE! Anyway, Jerkbait! I was hooked from the very first sentence and could hardly stand to put the book down to work, to eat, to sleep. I finished it in 3 days, and I regret nothing.
3 Things I Loved
1. Tristan’s budding relationship with Keisha. I loved this mostly because it was just so sweet. I could tell from very early in the book (basically when Keisha was introduced) that she had a crush on him, but he was too blinded by Heather to notice. So when Heather was removed from the picture, Tristan was finally able to see things in a different light, and the relationship progressed naturally. No insta-love, is what I’m saying! I’ve had enough of insta-love. And a plus—it was an interracial relationship that was acknowledged as such!
2. The coming out scene. No spoilers, but Robbie’s coming out was exactly what I hoped it would be—an olive branch, a hand reaching toward his brother so they could save each other. I just loved it.
3. The way that Tristan and Robbie grew to care for each other so fiercely. They’re twins, so it’s not like they didn’t love each other from the start. But they didn’t know each other. Sharing a room, sharing secrets—it made them closer and helped them protect each other throughout the book. I loved watching that relationship grow and progress.
I had a very hard time reading the scenes about the bullying and hazing that went on in the hockey locker room and in school. It’s not a problem—those things really do happen in locker rooms and schools, unfortunately, but it made me ache for the people who are unable to protect themselves from the assaults.
I also really hated just about everyone outside of the main characters (and Keisha) in this book. A lot of the guys on the hockey team came around, as did the parents, but they all SUCKED throughout most of the book. The parents especially. I’m going to go back to my earlier statement—LET THEM LIVE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
A reminder of the rating scale:
Red = DNF, I hated everything
Orange = Ugh, no thank you
Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
Green = This was good, but not something I’d reread
Blue = Oh my gosh, everyone should be reading this book
Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart
People should be reading this book. If you have any sort of affiliation with high schoolers, athletes, or both, I think this should be required reading for you. Therefore, I’m saying that Jerkbait is BLUE. It is available where books are sold.