Let me start by saying this isn’t a coming out story.
Okay, it is. Sort of. But when I was reading WAY TO GO by Tom Ryan, I was thinking about so much more than when is Danny going to admit he’s gay? I was thinking a lot about his family — his parents who are together but apart because of his dad’s job in another province. I was thinking about the fun 90′s setting, complete with boom boxes and mix tapes. I was thinking about the restaurant where Danny gets a job for the summer, starting as a dishwasher and learning in the kitchen — learning who he is and what he wants beyond who he’s attracted to. And the element I loved the most was the different friendships that Danny is navigating throughout the story. His long-time best friend Jay, Kierce with all his rules and womanizing ways, and new girl Lisa, visiting Cape Breton from New York City.
Danny’s friendships are what’s really on the line in WAY TO GO. Kierce is a borderline bully when it comes to convincing Danny to lose his virginity, and in a last ditch attempt to convince himself he’s not gay, Danny tries his hardest to fall for Lisa, but ends up bonding with her in a completely different way. And then there’s Danny’s relationship with the head chef at the restaurant, who helps him realize his passion for cooking. There’s a lot to love about this story, and with every character so complex and every subplot full of intrigue, WAY TO GO has something to offer so many readers, gay or straight, boy or girl. This isn’t a coming out story. It’s a coming of age story. And I promise, it will make you laugh, too.