Synopses & Reviews
David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; hes a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems. In this thoughtful yet searing coming-of-age novel, Lee Bantle offers a raw, honest, and incredibly compelling account of a teenager who learns to accept himself for who he is.
"In this somewhat uneven novel, David comes out as gay, first to himself, and then to friends and eventually to his mother. Along the way, he experiences plenty of angst, from a friend asking him to join the Gay/Straight Alliance he formed, to trying to figure out how to handle a close female friend who wants to be more than his buddy. David even strikes up an intense physical relationship with his track teammate (but while David hopes for romance, Sean tells him, 'Guys fool around, you know. Nobody talks about it, that's all'). Readers will be moved by David's struggles, but he never really comes across as an authentic character, and many of the book's devices (like the reassuring counselor he connects with through a gay hotline) seem contrived. There are some exciting moments (David agonizes over a note he gets from a mysterious male admirer, wondering if it's a set-up, for example), but ultimately David's journey seems like well-tread territory. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“The writing is meaty and full of well-conceived characterizations, believable plot devices and plenty of wisdom for teens trying to understand themselves.”--Kirkus Reviews
Praise for David Inside Out:
“The writing is meaty and full of well-conceived characterizations, believable plot devices and plenty of wisdom for teens trying to understand themselves.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Bantle describes the teens emotional roller coaster in such an open and honest manner that readers will feel everything from his anguish to his elation. While this book will have wide appeal due to its universal themes of first love and the search for ones identity, it will be especially intriguing to readers who are struggling with their own sexuality. They will be able to understand and relate to David and his quest for self-discovery”—School Library Journal
“Bantles writing is crisp and spare, with no sentimentality or long-winded introspection; his second novel is a refreshing contribution to the “coming out” genre and a powerful example of an honest teen voice.”—The Horn Book Magazine
In this thoughtful yet searing coming-of-age novel, Bantle offers a raw, honest, and incredibly compelling account of a teenager who learns to accept himself for who he is.
About the Author
LEE BANTLE is the author of the middle-grade novel Diving for the Moon. He is an attorney and lives in New York City.