Review: Kira Harp – The Benefit of Ductwork

The Benefit of Ductwork
Kira Harp
17 year old Andy lives with his two dads, is an average student, and has an average life. When Kyle comes onto the scene, Andy feels upset and abandoned – don’t his parents love him enough to not replace him until he has moved out for college?
What I liked about this short story was that I caught the character dynamics really quickly, and was able to individualise each person in my mind really clearly. The characters were consistant, and the action was engaging enough that I didn’t feel the pages passing by.
My complaint would be that it was too short! As a short story, it was great, but I felt that there could have been more! I wanted to know more about Andy’s childhood (although what was mentioned of it was smoothly integrated), and more about how the family dynamics would change in the future.
This short story is a great one for also illuminating the plight of queer people in trying to adopt or foster children in need. Same sex parental units are no worse at parenting than ‘traditional’ couples, yet often they are ostracised and their children treated differently. I can imagine Andy’s response and Kyle’s bullying as being quite typical of what these people would experience.
I’m going to look out for other novels by this author in this genre, and perhaps branch out a bit too. I’d give it four stars, simply because although I loved it, I wanted more, more, more!
I received this novel from the author as part of a new Goodreads initiative by the group YA LGBT Books called ‘Read-to-Review’. The requirement of this program is that you only ask for one novel at a time, and that reviews are posted within one month of receiving the copy. I was so excited to have something short and queer to read, I had to read it the same day!

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