Tuesday, 12 November 2013

" Cinnamon Toast and the end of the World " by Janet E Cameron

I was given a copy of this book by a friend who knows the author.  Having heard nothing about it, I went in to reading it with no pre-conceptions.

It's 1987 and Stephen Shulevitz is finishing high school in Nova Scotia, listening to The Cure, smoking dope and drinking vodka, along with his classmates.  He is preparing for college, his mother is upset at the thought of him leaving and he is carrying around a huge secret.  He is gay.  Although some people have suspicions, he has yet to announce it and the thought of it scares him. The other problem he has is that he is in love with his best friend, Mark, who is homophobic.

This book surprised me. I had expected an average tale of high school angst and coming of age cliches.  I was so wrong!
Janet E Cameron has turned the story of Stephen into one of the most pleasurable reads of this genre I have come across.  Her writing is sharp, clever and up to date. The characters are likeable, believable and endearing.  Stephen's mother and father are ex hippies who separate early on in his life but play a pivotol role in his teenage years. Lana, who is a great friend to Stephen, since they met years before,  is also an ever present force in his life.
The author brings us along with Stephen as he struggles through some difficult times; in school, at home and socially.  Mark and Lena surround him with friendship and patience when times are tough and Stephen fears he may lose this closeness by telling the truth.

This novel is just wonderful.....An ideal read for anyone aged 14 upwards although be aware that there are some references to sex and drug use, but only in a minor way.

Highly recommended, I am so glad that it was passed on to me as I may have never discovered this wonderful novel or this talented author !!

Published by Hachette Books Ireland and is available in Paperback.

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