June 1, 2012
On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school's star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John's help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them.
Several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever. Will they follow their own voice or return to the safety of their own shadows?
"Review from DH Starr" By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago
SURVIVING ELITE HIGH by John H. Ames, is a GLBTQ young adult novel following, ironically enough, John Henry Ames as he experiences his life as a gay teen in a high school. To add a layer to his difference, he is also poor amongst a sea of wealthy, over-privileged children. Luckily he was blessed, as any healthy high school homosexual should, with two wonderful friends: Madison and Kitty.
This story touches a tender spot in my heart as I read. John is a pure soul, his emotions worn on his sleeve. A number of circumstances occur, almost simultaneously, which set the story in motion. We meet two bullies, Jacob and Matthew, within the first two pages of the story. We then meet Nick, the star quarterback who becomes John's tutee and guardian. Through much soul searching by our two main characters, the love interest of the story, we the reader are able to watch how young men, on the brink of manhood, handle their stresses and find their identity.
While the premise of the book was wonderful, there were a few things that distracted from my enjoyment. First, there were a number of convenient twists, which solved some of the problems a bit too easily. The author also stated some of the emotions and thoughts rather than showing them through description and actions. There were also a few instances where the character point of view became a bit cloudy.
In speaking with Mr. Ames, we learned that both of our debut novels were about GLBT young adult issues. It's natural for a debut novel to reflect the raw emotion all authors wish to transmit on the page, but also the beginning stages of honing one's craft. This story, in its pure and straightforward manner, is a journey of emotion, growth, and most certainly love. I look forward to reading more from this wonderful author.