Saturday, May 16, 2015
Anything Could Happen, by Will Walton
There's a lot more to the story (a dying grandfather, a bully, finding the journals of a dead great uncle, and the whole process of Tretch coming out) but it's in such a non-linear fashion that you spend much of the book trying to figure out how it's all going to come together. That it actually does come together is testimony to Walton's skill as a writer in this strong debut.
As a LGBT book, this novel cleaves an interesting middle ground. Some books (and I have in mind David Levithan's in particular) make a big deal of showing just how gay they can be to prove that they are not a "straight" book. Other authors tend to bury the sexuality altogether in a literary attempt to say "see, we're just like you!" But this one falls between these positions, telling us not only a coming-out story that is unequivocal about Tretch's sexuality and the complicated nature of his feeling for his best friend (the getting-caught-in-the-laundryroom scene is particularly memorable!) but also a coming-of-age story that is universal to all young people. Thus showing that, for Walton, sexual identity is important but not all-defining.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. After I complete this review, I am donating the book to my local public library. This book is scheduled for release on May 25th.]