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by Christopher Rice
This story was originally released in 2000, but has been reissued for 2015.
The story is about a group of young friends in New Orleans and starts out with them riding their bicycles to one of the above ground graveyards that the city is known for and getting caught out in a nasty storm. There are some poignant insights on facing fear, as well as a sensual moment between two of the boys, which will be significant to the story later on.
The writing is very good and very descriptive of New Orleans. There are some dramatic moments, but it largely concerns issues of adolescence; losing virginity, discovering sexuality and a boy's experience of navigating through high school in a southern state, knowing he's gay.
It sometimes jumps at the beginning from one group of people to another too suddenly. Just as you're getting to know a character, you're dealing with someone else. There are issues of bullying in school and dealing with death so that much of it is really depressing.
Overall the book is primarily about relationships between people. While I couldn't identify with high school age people, having been out of school for more than ten years, the writing was very literate and showed a talent for description in particular.
Oddly, the author says in the afterword that he was dissatisfied with the prose, which I thought was its biggest strength.