The Straight Crimes by Matt Juhl

straightcrimesThis is Mr. Juhl’s first book. It’s a YA story with an original concept: in this world, the straights are the minority, not the gays. Mixed in there are intrigue, murder, fortune-telling, deception, and love.

When I first read it, I was devastated with the ending, and angry at the author. It’s not a happily ever after (HEA) book. Coulda been, but no. You think it’s all good until the second-to-last chapter when the intrigue is revealed, the bad guys get it and all is well – but wait! There’s more! Then you die a little…

It’s really nicely done, enough angst and deception to keep emotional teens on the edge of their seats, furiously turning page after page under their comforter with a flashlight. The villain is nefarious, the main characters are just so nice you root for them from the beginning, I mean these two go through crap like the sewage system in Montreal and still their love shines on and all that, there’s a little spooky element with the fortune-telling, bad weather, fire, a lighthouse, all the elements for a good teen story. Nicely done indeed.

And my usual warning to my unreal totally imagined under 18 readers: you can read this one!!! Well, it’s PG-13. I wouldn’t give it to my 8-year-old niece, but my 13-year-old could read it no problem. Just enough hinting at sex. No big graphic stuff. Read on, young ghosts in my head.

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