Thinking Straight is an indictment of dogma and fundamentalism, a vindication of the power of love, and a fresh interpretation of being Christian and gay in the 21st century
Author of Desert Sons
Reardon obviously did her homework on this issue; everything about Straight to God has the ring of truth to it. Thinking Straight is engrossing and compelling, with terrific dialogue and characters who nearly leap off the page.
Thinking Straight needs to be read by every pastor, priest, and rabbi actively engaged in ministry today, as well as being required reading in every seminary in the country.
—The Reverend Reid D. Farrell
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
If only Taylor Adams had kept on lying to his parents, none of this would have happened. He wouldn’t have been shipped off to Straight to God, an institution devoted to “deprogramming” troubled teenagers and ridding them of their vices—whether those vices are drugs, violence, or—in Taylor’s case—other boys.
At Straight to God, such thoughts—along with all other reminders of Taylor’s former “sinful” life—are forbidden. Every movement is monitored, privacy is impossible, and no one—from staff to residents—is quite who they first appear to be. There’s Charles, Taylor’s clean-cut roommate, desperate to leave his past behind…Nate Devlin, a handsome, inscrutable older boy who’s alternately arrogant and kind…gorgeous, secretive Sean, who returns to Straight to God each year to avoid doing prison time for drugs. Here, where piety can be a mask for cruelty and the greatest crimes go unpunished, Taylor will learn more than he ever dreamed about love, courage, rebellion, and betrayal—but the most surprising lessons will be the truths he uncovers about himself.
This smart, insightful novel presents a compelling exploration of the journey from boy to man and a testament to the strength that comes with accepting both who we are and whom we love.
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For educators or anyone else interested in the topics introduced in this story, you can read the background information provided, which covers the following:
- Homosexuality in Science
- Reparative Therapy and "Ex-gay" Camps
- Homosexuality in the Bible
Please note that this information contains spoilers for anyone who has not read the book.
In addition, my essay The Case for Acceptance: An Open Letter to Humanity provides even deeper insight into what Taylor discovers about Christianity and being gay.