Jack of Hearts (and other parts)
Jack loves partying, drinking and sex. Not in that order. He probably enjoys sex the most. He’s out and not afraid of his sexuality. When his best friend asks him to write a column on sex, he isn’t sure if it’s a great idea. But there’s plenty of rumours about Jack – so why not set the facts straight? But there’s a stalker on the loose, and Jack isn’t sure if it’s creepy or sweet.
I didn’t see that ending coming. I mean, I knew that it would probably be someone out of left field, but really? That person? I’m not sure the author gave me enough warning, but perhaps a second reading would make it obvious for me. The relationships of the other characters were sweet, but they could have perhaps had a bit more backbone, particularly Ben. But I suppose not all of us are the Jack’s of the world.
I found it surprising that there were so many gay people out at his school! It would have been unheard of in my day. This novel translates well from the UK market to the US market to Australia. Young people worldwide are facing things like this every day, even if they aren’t being stalked.
You’d better believe that I pounced on this novel the minute it came in the door. I’d requested it back in December, but it was still on my spreadsheet as maybe coming soon! This has a lovely embossed cover, although the notes Jack receives are on pink paper, not red. Never mind.
This novel could be considered quite uncomfortable or confronting reading for some people. There are very frank discussions of sex, including anal and oral sex. I’ve tagged this under ‘young adult’ fiction simply because I’m not sure how many parents/book buyers would be comfortable buying this for someone else. Jack’s mom is an example of a cool (maybe too cool?) parent – she just reminds him to have safe sex, but there are other parents that might kick out their children for being gay. A sad fact of life.
I’m giving this 5 stars. It was a fantastic novel that I haven’t read anything similar to it. The closest is perhaps a Julie Anne Peters novel such as Keeping You a Secret, but that only has the ‘gay’ elements, not the discussion of sex and safe sex which I think are really important. Not only is sex normal, but it’s allowed to be fun!
Penguin Random House | 19th February 2019 | AU$16.99 | paperback