David Inside Out – Lee Bantle


My mom can be confusing without even trying. If I tell her I have to something because everyone is doing it, she says, just be yourself. She says people respect that. But what if you send fan mail to romance writers? And get teary-eyes at chick flicks? What if you still get spooked during thunderstorms? These are not things that you want to share with others. Being yourself might make people reject you. People you desperately care about. Being yourself only works if you’re basically cool. Which I’m not.

There’s another problem with mom’s advice. How can you be yourself if you don’t know who that is?

David is pretty sure he’s gay. At least he knows that much about himself. He thinks about guys in sexual ways and he can’t help but perve on his team mates in the showers after practice. But David doesn’t think he should be thinking these things, so he snaps a rubber band around his wrist to snap at every time he has an ‘inappropriate’ thought about a guy.

But then Sean, the guys he’s been crushing on, sort of outs himself to David. Although its clear that Sean has no intention of outing himself to anyone else, David does pretty much anything Sean wants him to – even when its clear that Sean is not going to reciprocate.

Then David gets brave and tells Kick – the girl he’s kind of been seeing. She doesn’t flip out, like he thought he would, but she doesn’t keep the information to herself, like she said she would. Then Sean’s parents ban him from seeing David, and everything goes a little haywire.

Eventually, David grows a pair and takes a stand against Sean’s manipulative, selfish behaviour. He fixes things with Kick, and his other friends, too. While the ending is kind of nice, I wouldn’t go so far to say that this is a feel good novel. Sean – whom I absolutely loathe, by the way – doesn’t really grow at all and appears to learn no lessons whatsoever. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m not of the opinion that the characters need to grow morally in a story to make it good. I’m just saying that Sean was the same frustrating ass at both the beginning and the end of the novel.

By the end, I was convinced that Sean’s simply one of those people that’s going to live a long, lonely and frustrating life. Being gay is something that he’ll never be comfortable with and he’ll continue to manipulate people like David forever. Something deep inside me says I should feel sorry for him, but I disliked him so much that I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.

David, however, is a much more likable character. Although he’s a bit of a pushover for most of the novel, and his naivety and inability to see his relationship with Sean for what it is, is kind of annoying, he grew a pair just at the right place in the story and he restored all my faith in him once more. Like with so many other novels I’ve read lately, I thanked my lucky stars that the novel was narrated through David’s point of view, and not Sean’s. Had it been the other way around, I may not have been able to finish.

I just have one question, for anyone that might have read this novel. Why oh why did David sleep with Kick? I mean, it fits the story I suppose, but I just don’t understand. He didn’t want to. He didn’t even have to. She knew he was gay. WHYYYYYYYY? I was angry with David for following through on this… I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on this scene.

The story flows well, and it’s pretty easy to read. I reckon lots of you out there might like this one.


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