The Boy I Love

July 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

When the boy you love asks you to keep his greatest secret, do you? A thought-provoking, achingly complex novel about prejudice and the many meanings of love from Nina de Gramont, author of Meet Me at the River, which Kirkus Reviews calls a “must-read.”

Fifteen-year-old Wren has been content to stay in her best friend Allie’s shadow. It doesn’t bother her that Ally gets the cutest guys, the cutest clothes, and even a modeling gig—Wren is happy hanging with the horses on her family’s farm and avoiding the jealousy of other girls.

But when Tim, the most intriguing guy in school, starts hanging out with Ally and Wren, jealousy is unavoidable, but not the kind Wren expects. Because even though Ally is wayyy into him and Wren hasn’t flirted, not one little bit, it becomes increasingly clear that Tim prefers Wren’s company above anyone else’s.

Tim’s unexpected devotion comes at the exact time Wren’s home life is about to be turned upside down. Her parents have just found out that the family horse farm is on land that was once a slave plantation and are struggling with whether to sell it. Wren aches at the thought of losing her horses and leaving town, but at least there is Tim…always a gentleman on their dates. Such a gentleman. Too much of a gentleman, even, and Wren begins to wish he’d be a wee bit less gentlemanly. And as Tim’s church becomes actively homophobic, his pressuring parents don’t understand why he won’t help “spread the word,” and he’s now a wreck. Then he tells Wren his biggest secret, and Wren must decide what she’ll really do for love.


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and Powell’s

Praise for The Boy I Love

“Wren is a dynamic character… Thoughtful parallels between discrimination based on race and sexual orientation are also skillfully interwoven…Wren and Tim’s relationship becomes another powerful iteration of the book’s message that ‘love is love,’ and all loves deserve respect.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In a North Carolina small town where interracial marriages were prohibited not long ago, the tension between fitting in and staying true to your identity will especially resonate with teens…Wren’s father’s struggle with coming to terms with his family’s slaveholding past and her mother’s statement ‘love is love’ in regards to sexuality are poignant.”—School Library Journal


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