Recommended for ages 14+
Adrian is a quiet high school junior that really tries to go through life unnoticed. He hangs out with his two best friends at school, Audrey and Trent, and they form their own little group of misfits, and he tries to avoid Doug, the local football hero/top cop’s son, and his sidekick, Buddy. At home, Adrian loses himself in movie and video game soundtrack music and creates his comic book character, Graphite, who ponders life from his lunar fortress of solitude and pines for someone to share life with. Graphite is Adrian’s secret – and, at first, so is the fact that he’s gay. That all changes when a hate crime is committed right in front of him. An openly gay classmate is attacked by the “bubbas”, as Adrian refers to them, and the town spin makes Adrian see red. He’s got to take a stand: someone has to draw the line.
This is such a powerful story that builds on so many levels: friendship, budding romance and the challenge of taking a romance public when you’re a gay teen in Texas, family problems at home, and self-esteem/image issues. Every character – much like every kid in real life – has a challenge they’re facing in their own lives in addition to the big-ticket challenge that frames the novel. Adrian is a smart, funny, complex main character who has a strong voice that drives the story. His friends and antagonists all have their own voices, and while you may root for some and hiss for others, they are real and act and react believably. The black and white comic book art enhances the story and illustrates that having your own voice can take a multitude of forms.
A powerful addition to YA and teen collections, and packed with diversity and events that are happening now: this book will spark discussions.
Check out the book trailer/cover reveal for Draw the Line below: