Pray The Gay Away - Sara York

Stories like this have the opportunity to be a positive thing. Being young and gay in very backward, bigoted areas, facing adversity. Growing stronger. These stories could help youth struggling with all these problems.


But this one failed on many levels. The basics are this: the writing was poor, it was riddled with grammatical errors, and the author clearly owned no thesaurus. She used the word "sexy" like E.L. James uses "oh my". The dialogue was unrealistic, especially among teens. I dont know many guys that sit around telling their lovers how "hard" they are. Events would happen without essential details, where someone would be in one place then suddenly be in another with no idea how they got there. From outside to the dinner table, or from the truck to the inside of the school. The author also said the same word in the same sentence to describe something: "the shadows of the trees cast his face in shadows".


Now the characters weren't all that bad. The instalove I could handle. It isn't any different than a Disney movie. But the prologue listed all the family members and their roles. Amanda was said to be a trouble maker, yet she didn't even say anything the entire book. The Miller family had 10 kids yet it didn't seem like any of them did much of anything. Really unrealistic. And Mr. Nathaniel Miller is a royal asshole bigot from Hell. He's the pastor. And his oldest son Jack and in love.


And that brings me to the ending and why I gave this such a crap rating: there is such casual physical and verbal abuse. Child abuse. And semi-aggressive sexual assualt. Mr. Miller tells his 18-year-old son that is he doesn't "ungay" himself and his baby brother, he will beat the shit out of the baby brother until he pretty much dies. So his oldest son agrees to stay home and play straight and deal with his physical abuse instead of calling the CPS investigator he happens to know due to other events. It is such a shitty ending. A slap in the face. All the shit that happened and his asshole father beat him into submission in a roundabout way.


That just topped off the awful cake. Too much abuse and parenting failures.