Feature: “All Kinds of Other” by James Sie

Release Date: May 4, 2021
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Genre: Young Adult

Description

Two boys are starting over at a new high school.

Jules is still figuring out what it means to be gay…and just how out he wants to be.

Jack is reeling from a fall-out with his best friend…and isn’t ready to let anyone else in just yet.

When Jules and Jack meet, the sparks are undeniable. But when a video linking Jack to a pair of popular trans vloggers is leaked to the school, the revelations thrust both boys into the spotlight they’d tried to avoid.

Suddenly Jack and Jules must face a choice: to play it safe and stay under the radar, or claim their own space in the world–together.

Praise

 “As Jack himself points out, there are few media depictions of cis and trans men dating. This book is a welcome and successful entry into the category…A touching, romantic, and rewarding read.” —Kirkus (starred review) 

“Tender and vulnerable, All Kinds of Other is the perfect read for anyone who’s scared of being their authentic self and needs that little ray of hope to show them that being yourself is always worth the risk.” —The Nerd Daily 

“James Sie writes with a keen observation of human behavior and rich, breathtaking details that make his characters leap to life. All Kinds of Other is a fresh—and needed—perspective on identity: the things we protect, what we reveal and how we love. I am in awe of this book; it was hard to put down.” —Maulik Pancholy, author of The Best at It

“Told in alternating points of view, this realistic romance revolves around two ‘new kids’ who explore the bounds of their identities… Recommended.” —School Library Journal

“[A] sharply written YA debut…a gripping story.” —Publishers Weekly

“A warm and open-hearted story about the perilousness and momentousness of navigating your gender and sexuality. Yes, it’s dangerous to be your authentic self, but, as Jules and Jack find out, the prize is worth the risk.” —Naomi Kanakia, author of We Are Totally Normal 

Excerpt

“Sometimes I wonder if I would feel so behind the gay curve (is that a thing?) if I had known I was gay before the end of freshman year. Or, if I had admitted I was gay before the end of freshman year. But it’s not like I knew and was hiding the fact. I mean, it really didn’t come up until then. Sure, there were signs, but I didn’t know they were supposed to add up to anything. Like, when all the hunky guys on that CW show tear off their shirts and become werewolves? I thought everyone got that same breathless, scared/excited feeling I did watching them transform. And I’ve liked girls before, just, I guess, not the way I’m supposed to. Was I lying to myself? Maybe. But it was more like, there was this blank spot in the middle of myself that I didn’t know was supposed to be filled. Until I did.

Okay, there was this time in fifth grade when I got my first laptop, and I googled “men doing sex.” Just curious, I told myself. Big mistake. The first results were already too much—exciting for a moment, but then windows kept popping up and it became full-tilt terrifying. Sweaty naked men appeared on my screen faster than I could click them away. What they were doing looked frantic, and frightening, and painful. Videos, images, GIFs . . . it was like the scene from that Disney movie with the walking brooms—the more I clicked away, the more windows kept sprouting up. I didn’t know what to do. My father was on location, as usual, so I had to show the laptop to my mother. It was not a happy thing.

To her credit, she didn’t freak out too much, but I don’t think she entirely bought me telling her I was looking for Minecraft videos. She installed a filter on my laptop, and it’s been shutting down dicey internet sites ever since. Not that I have any desire to poke around that alleyway any time soon. Well, not much, anyway.

The gay men on billboards for AIDS awareness, or condom use, or the ones on TV shows . . . they don’t look a whole lot different from the guys on those porn sites. Ripply muscles and gleaming smiles, hairless white skin . . . is that what we’re all supposed to turn into, sooner or later? Hunky werewolves, except backward, transforming from gawky, awkward beasts into buff gay men with smooth skin and muscles?

I am wholly unprepared to deal with that level of gay.”

© James Sie 2021

Buy this book from bookshop.org.

About the author

James Sie (pronouns he/him) is the author of Still Life Las Vegas, which was a Lambda Literary Award nominee for Best Gay Fiction. He has contributed essays to The Rumpus and The Advocate. James is also a voiceover artist for many cartoons and games, including Stillwater, Jackie Chan Adventures, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness; Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, where his excessive love of cabbages has earned him immortal fame. Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, James now lives in Los Angeles with his husband and son.

Author website: www.sieworld.com

Twitter: @SieJames 

Facebook: @OfficialJamesSie 

Instagram: @sie_james 

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