Pride, Dear Diary 2
Title : Pride
Series : Dear Diary, Book 2
Author : Allison Cassatta
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 130 pages (e-book)
Published : July 17, 2013
Rating : ★★★1/2
Dear Diary: Book Two
Prom ends with a bang of unexpected epic proportions and leaves Chris with a disheartened outlook on where he is in his life, when he should be on top of the world. He’s graduating high school with honors and has the best boyfriend in the world, but things still aren’t right. Bullies make him doubt his choice to accept the way he feels and come out of the closet. Those friends turned foes make him realize how much the narrow-minded masses can hate gay people.
And everyone Chris loves starts to worry about him.
To give Chris a new perspective, his parents and loving boyfriend send him to his first gay pride—but Chris doesn’t see the point, and he damn sure doesn’t want to go. Will pride help him see there’s nothing wrong with him? Will it change his feelings and his mind?
1st Edition published by Allison Cassatta, January 2012
“Pride” is the sequel to “Dear Diary“ and picks up straight after where the first left off – with Chris Bishop and his boyfriend, Josh, heading to Chris’ Prom with Sarah, Chris’ ex girlfriend, and Justin Hickman, Chris’ best friend and Sarah’s current boyfriend. It should have been a wonderful milestone. Instead it ends in a fight with two of Chris’ friends from childhood that took exception when he danced with his boyfriend. The attack and loss of who he thought were his friends leaves Chris feeling wary of being out of the closet and scared of what it means to be a gay man. After all, If people he’s know since they were all seven could instantly hate him because of his sexuality, what about people who didn’t even know him? When he’s later attacked again by the same boys in the school bathroom, his confidence is left just as battered as his face. Now all he wants to do is get through high school without any further incidents. Throughout this time, the support of his family and boyfriend remains rock solid. Hopefully they are enough to show him that he has every right to proud of who he is. All of who he is.
Pride doesn’t sugarcoat what many gay teenagers have to deal with every day. My heart really hurt for Chris. As much as it would have been nice that everyone was accepting, or that everything had gone perfectly, that definitely would have felt completely unlikely given that Chris had already stated that the school, or a section of it, were intolerant and violent about it. I don’t know about starting a fight inside the prom, knowing teachers were around. Then again, this is teenagers we’re talking about after all, and they don’t always think consequences through too well!
There was a little bit of a tendency to over explain some things while others were glossed over – such as when Chris was attacked; if he’d been hit as hard as was indicated why wouldn’t his father take him to the hospital? At the very least, it’s documentation of his injuries. During the prom fight, the switching between Justin’s first and last name got a bit confusing. I had to keep stopping to remember it’s just one person because there really wasn’t enough time to get familiar enough with his character for that. The story had a few little inconsistencies and, considering the writing seems to be aimed at a younger audience of around fifteen to eighteen year olds, I personally think that condoms, especially, and lube really needed to be used in both sex scenes. Although it was mentioned, the attitude was pretty blasé.
Told from Chris’ POV, the author really had the voice, reactions and thought processes of an eighteen year old male down. I liked that Chris doesn’t just automatically change. The going back and forth between accepting and being scared felt very realistic. His growth leaps forward, steps back and takes time to adjust to his newly discovered sexuality and being out about it. The dialogue, both internally and between Chris and Josh, was a lot more realistic than in the first book. Chris and Josh are incredibly sweet together. Although Chris struggles with things, you never doubt just how in love they are. I really liked how the author used Chris’ relationship with Sarah in juxtaposition to his with Josh without belittling Sarah or turning her into a cardboard cut out semi villain. In fact, all the characters came across as very real. Even Cassie, who appears so briefly, is extremely engaging.
Overall, Pride was a nice, positive story about becoming comfortable in your own skin and taking positives from adversities to move forward. The characters were as endearing as they were in the first book. The third person narrative, even though it was still solely from Chris’ POV, gave the reader a much better sense of who Josh is. I loved the interactions between Chris and Josh and seeing them work through Chris’ experiences in a very believable way. Despite the serious issues brought up in the book, it didn’t go too angst filled, but tread that line between becoming too shallow very well.
Rated 3.5 stars by BookSmitten