Play Me, I’m Yours
Title : Play Me, I’m yours
Author : Madison Parker
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Young Adult
Length : 244 pages (e-book)
Published : April 1, 2013
Fairy Tate. Twinklefingers. Lucy Liu. Will the taunting ever end? Lucas Tate suffers ridicule because of his appearance and sensitive nature. When he’s not teased, he’s ignored, and now he doesn’t know which is worse. His one comfort in life is his music; he feels unloved by everyone. What he wants more than anything is to find a friend.
Much to his dismay, both his mom and a schoolmate are determined to find him a boyfriend, despite the fact Lucas hasn’t come out to them. His mom chooses a football player who redefines the term “heartthrob,” while Trish pushes him toward the only openly gay boy at Providence High. But Lucas is harboring a crush on another boy, one who writes such romantic poetry to his girlfriend that hearing it melts Lucas into a puddle of goo. All three prospects seem so far out of his league. Lucas is sure he doesn’t stand a chance with any of them—until sharing his gift for music brings him the courage to let people into his heart.
“Play Me, I’m Yours,” is a little gem. A coming-of-age tale of a high school musical misfit facing the perils of being different as he grows into who he is supposed to be. It deals with acceptance, family angst, friendship, sex and the confusing world of dating when you’re 16 and 17 years old.
Even when you figure out who you are, it doesn’t mean you know what to do about it and that’s where Lucas Tate stands at the beginning of this story. Playing piano for new friend Trish as she sings in the school talent contest opens doors for Lucas. He meets a novel cast of characters — straights, gays, jocks, supporters and detractors — as he takes tentative steps into the dating world and maturity. Lucas shares who he is in his music. He pours himself into it, so it’s not surprising that music becomes the bridge to his family, friendship and finally, romance. The dynamics among Lucas’ parents, his brother and very sexy Zach are amazing. Parker gives us fully fleshed out characterizations of each of the players she puts on paper. These rich protrayals are diverse, dynamic, flawed, accepting, insecure and judgmental — all there in a mix of storytelling that is a joy to read.
We see the main characters struggling for acceptance from parents, peers and each other. When Zach and Lucas finally get together, it is tender and real. Parker gets the angst and drama of young love so right.
The story also deals with the issue of bullying of gay kids by straight kids and it tackles the less discussed issue of bullying within the LGBT community. This behavior, it has been my experience, is pretty common in teenage groups of all kinds. It’s bad that in seeking a way to feel better about one’s self, someone else gets attacked. The truth is, it’s often a part of getting through high school and how Lucas stands up for himself felt right. Learning to deal with bullying is scary and painful, but supportive family and friends go a long way in smoothing the rough patches.
I don’t want to say too much about the storyline because I know it will involve spoilers. So, I will say this: The story offers wonderful writing, insight into what it’s like to navigate as a gay teen as Lucas figures out who likes him, who lusts after him and who loves him. Madison Parker does an excellent job with characterization, bringing her young cast to life in a manner that reveals their complex personalities in surprising, realistic ways. She also handles many aspects of teens exploring their sexuality without preaching while delivering a powerful, positive message.
I am sorry to leave these characters. Lucas, Alex, Zach, Trish, Donovan and Lucas’ brother, Mason were a joy to hang with. I’d love to read Donovan’s story — there’s stuff going on there.
Madison Parker wrote me a memory, and I’m still smiling.
Rated 4 stars by Carli