TIM is being bullied.
No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.ERIC
is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.
DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.
Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.
What a great book! I don’t even know where to start. As a straight female who spent almost a decade in a relationship with a gay male and knowing what he went through as a teen – reconciling his sexual orientation with his religion, the gamut of reactions from his family members, and society’s treatment of him – this book elicits such strong emotions from me. Whether we want to believe it or not at the time, most teens deal with feelings of inadequacy, not fitting in, like life is never going to get better, so I found it easy to relate to the boys in that way; but I cannot even begin to
imagine having the added pressure of dealing with questions about one’s sexuality, especially in the narrow-minded, small town in which they lived.
T.E.D. was recommended to me as a gay romance/coming of age novel, but it deals with so many more subjects that it saddens me that it may be pigeon-holed into the gay romance genre. It is a young adult book and while it does deal with sexual orientation, there is nothing graphic in the book that would prevent me from recommending it to teens – the only scene that might skate that line is one that I feel is important for them to read. Mr. James addresses bullying, bigotry, suicide, physical and emotional abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, friendship, acceptance, romance, and love. There are so many messages within T.E.D. that are important for teens (and adults) to read that I will be sharing the book with the teens in my life. And because the book is written from the perspective of the Tim, Eric & Delsin, I think most teens would be far more receptive to reading it and taking the underlying messages to heart. I must say “Well done Mr. James and I look forward to reading more of your work.”