In the interest of complete disclosure, I was one of the beta readers before Madison released this wonderful short story. When she sent me the manuscript I read it through and wondered, Why does she need a beta reader? I don't see anything I can suggest to make this any better.
But I did make one suggestion and she worked with it and made a change in something! Can you believe that? So naturally this is now my NUMBER ONE favorite story of all time and will remain so for all eternity!! LOL!!
Ryan is assigned to Jamie Peterson for his class's secret gift exchange. If word gets out that he has to make a handcrafted gift for flamboyant and openly gay Jamie, Ryan will be the laughing stock of the school. It's a good thing no self-respecting boy would be caught dead in a craft store, because otherwise he'd be at risk of being spotted when his mom drags him to her weekly craft workshops. He hopes Jamie will appreciate all the trouble he's going to for this assignment. Finding the perfect gift is gonna be tricky. Jamie deserves something good, though, after all the crap he has to put up with at school. At least, Ryan tells himself that's the reason he's putting so much thought into the gift. It couldn't be that he has feelings for Jamie, could it?
There is so much to love about this story, which falls in the Young Adult category. But if you think ONLY young people would enjoy this story, you're very mistaken. All you need to appreciate this story is a heart. And even if your heart is somewhat closed, after you read this story you'll find it a little more open than before.
This is a story we're planning to give to Jake (our high school next-door-neighbor) and his boyfriend, Brady. I can't wait to hear what they think of it.
BUT, this is a story we plan to give as a gift to our adult friends also. It recalls some things everybody who has been to high school can relate to. How do I fit in with other people my age? If I befriend this certain kid, is that going to damage my image as one of the "cool kids"?
What's more important to me? Doing the right thing, or maintaining my carefully cultivated image as "one of the in-crowd"? And what the hell do I do when I think I might want to be boyfriends with this emo-type, flamboyant kid? Does that mean I might be gay?
And why am I attracted to this "certain kid," who only has girls for friends, and, get this, LOVES TO KNIT? What does all this mean?
Well, I won't give anything away, but the resolution of these dilemmas is not exactly smooth sailing. The author does a really good job of getting into the heads of both these boys and their personalities and character. She has either spent a lot of time observing boys this age, or she's really a teenage boy masquerading as an adult! LOL! This story is like those wonderful Christmas bells you hear -- the ones that have a beautiful tone and ring true!
Madison has graciously offered a giveaway of her story to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment along with your email addy and we'll be announcing the winner this Friday.
Even if you've already read the story, it would make a wonderful gift! Here's a direct link to Madison's site: Sock it to Me, Santa!.
If you've already read this story, feel free to let us know what you thought. Just remember, no spoilers, please. Thanks!
Oh, oh, oh... Matty made me mention something about Madison's upcoming debut novel (Play Me, I'm Yours) because one of the characters is reportedly a "speedo-sporting stud"!! Matty is also hoping this book is illustrated! It's scheduled to be released in April 2013, but Matty says that's not fast enough and Madison should bribe the publishers to move it up -- to tomorrow, please! LOL!Now I need to learn a little more about knitting a sock monkey! I want one so bad!! I've never knitted before, but this story made me want to! ;)