Friday, October 3, 2014

Adam by Ariel Schrag

17-year-old Adam gets mistaken for a trans guy when he spends a summer with his lesbian sister Casey in New York City. Adam is Ariel Schrag's first novel, a romantic comedy of errors.

In her earlier works -- Awkward; Definition; Potential; and Likewise -- Schrag chronicles her high school years in comics. The autobiographical series is about her queer coming of age. In Adam, we are fully immersed in 21st-century twenty-something queer community, from political activism to play parties.

Schrag's transparent prose style keeps the focus on plot, believable dialogue and strong characterization. I flagged a passage in which many book addicts will see themselves:

"'Uh-huh?' said Casey, still not looking up. Adam knew she wasn't listening. It was a surprise Casey heard June at all. When Casey was reading, nothing got through to her. She became dead to everything outside the book. It was an attribute their mom liked to brag about all the time."

Adam is a rewarding romp, wrapped around poignant issues like unrequited love, manipulation and self-construction. So much fun!

Readalikes: (you) set me on fire (Mariko Tamaki); 48 Shades of Brown (Nick Earls); and The Floundering Time (Katy Weselcouch).

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