Cut Both Ways
(This book is part of my personal library.)
Book's Author: Carrie Mesrobian
Genre: LGBT+ Fiction
Rating: Three Paws
Reading books is not always about reading things that make me feel. Sometimes its just about reading a good book that's a little fluffy and not too heavy, something that Cut Both Ways did for me. The book was well written in terms of story flow and grammar. The idea behind the book was also sound and engaging. However, the main plot line that seemed to be clear, ended up not being the direction the author took the story, something that wasn't clear and caused an issue for me as I read.
When I first read the book's description, it was clear that the main plot of the story was that this boy named Will struggles to come to terms with his sexual identity. In the first few pages, this conflict is introduced when he kissed his best friend in a drunk stupor, but convinces himself that he likes girls internally.
Throughout the book, we find out that Will's parents are split and his life with his dad has been sporadic because of renovations that are happening to the house; it's presented as a subplot. However, as the end of the book approaches, and Will's conflict between dating the girl he likes and kissing his best friend, a boy, on the side, his father's house catches on fire and burns down. The book ends with that, stating that he likes dating both his best friend and the girl, and he'll continue to figure it out as he goes. The conflict, which is first presented, is never resolved, which is a major issue for me.
As mentioned before, the idea behind the book was good, and the first three quarters or so of the book adhered to that. Unfortunately, the book seemed to lose its purpose after that, changing Will's conflict from his love life to his life with his parents. While that plot line was just as sound as the boy versus girl one, it wasn't presented as the main plot, and to have this plot be the only one resolved was aggravating to say the least.
Aside from this, the characters and character development, as well as the portrayal of Will's internal conflict between his feelings on the two genders are all presented well and keep developing as the story does. The conflict itself is presented in a way that is easy to relate with and feel for, and for those of us with split parents, his adjustment to his parents' separation can be sympathized as well.
The story is a decent coming of age story, and I read it all in a matter of days, which is to say that the story did have draw and substance to it. As I said before, however, it's a lighter read, and the resolution most people wish to read for isn't quite reached. I would recommend this as a nightstand book, or a book to read before bed, or a book to read as an in-between other books.
I want to make this clear as well: the book was not a bad book; it just seemed unclear as to what the main plot was. Overall, the story could hold it's own and there was a resolution; it just wasn't the expected one.