Remember back in the 90’s when the cult film Jerry McGuire was released? When Renee Zellweger uttered that one line that still gets used by everyone today?
“You had me at hello!”
That’s how I feel about John Goode. As soon as I picked up my copy of Tales from Foster High (actually I read the individual novellas) I completely and 100% fell in love. The guys style is so beautifully conversational, it just drips of the tongue, and as an aside to that, he writes in the first person, for two separate characters, both with their own voices, both so sublimely endearing.
The book starts with what was first a novella, the brilliantly titled Maybe with a Chance of Certainty. The opening line had me hooked: “I don’t remember the moment I knew I was broken.” It tells the story of an elusive, introverted scholar named Kyle, whose goal for High School is simply to get in and get out, undetected. He goes to classes, gets a 4.25 GPA (didn’t realise that was actually a thing!), and then ghosts out of school and back home to the rough part of town where he lives with his abusive alcoholic mother, damaged by her divorce and drowning in alcohol and regret. Immediately I love this character, besides his circumstance and his story, his inner monologue is eloquent and acerbic, and he’s the underdog, anyone can relate.
Then comes Brad, the High School baseball jock archetype. I use the term ‘archetype’ very loosely. Despite the jock-meets-nerd nature of this story, these characters are new and fresh, and don’t subscribe to any expectation. Brad is also a child of an abusive parent, struggling with his own battles, most of all his sexuality. When threatened with being kicked off the baseball team for failing grades, he looks to find a tutor to help him bring his work up to passing. That’s when he meets Kyle, who as it turns out, wasn’t such a ghost after all.
Begin the love story! A story of fighting for acceptance against all the odds you can come up against. A story of fighting for love when it’s all you have to believe in. A story of the lengths that people go to to protect the ones they love from harm. A story I literally couldn’t put down. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil what turns out to be the biggest surprise ever! An author of such extreme calibre it literally blew me away. The second and third novellas are also included; The End of the Beginning and Raise Your Glass, and this collection of stories has started what has quickly become one of my favourite series of books, and let me tell you now, as a 6 foot tall burly dude with tats and piercings, this book flat out made me cry. I don’t cry generally, but John Goode delivered on his word. There was no ‘maybe’ about it, I am certainly in awe of what has turned out to be a gift to M/M fiction fans everywhere.
If you haven’t heard of John before, then be ashamed…be very ashamed. He is a top selling author from the family at Dreamspinner Press, and is available to contact on Twitter and his own blog.
John has since written two more full length books in this series, which I will praise at a later date, as well as a superb science-fiction series (again for Dreamspinner)titled the Lords of Arcadia. My advice would be to stop off at any of the retailers listed below and pick up a copy of Tales of Foster High. I guarantee you won’t be sorry. All his work is available in paperback or eBook format for your consideration.
I don’t rate books on this blog, I just like to share my views and hopefully direct avid LGBT fiction readers to something they might enjoy. I don’t rate books, but if I did, I’d rate this book very well.
Buy the book by following this link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3730
And for more news from Foster High, check out John’s blog : http://fosterhigh.blogspot.co.uk/