Book Jacket

 

rank 846
word count 66667
date submitted 24.04.2012
date updated 10.04.2013
genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, Gay
classification: universal
complete

The Year That Changed Everything

John Frank

When you're 17 a year seems like a lifetime, but for Jared, it seems like a life time of challenges all happen within one year.

 

This is a “coming of age” story. The book addresses several of the issues facing today’s youth including bullying, the result of bullying, peer pressure, coming out, self-identity and suicide. The story is fiction however, like most stories that should be told, it is largely based on real life events and incorporates true historical events and individuals who helped create the acceptance we see today.


For those of us who made it, we know that adolescence is a difficult time for the majority of individuals and as adults, most of us look back with a certain amount of anxiety at the harsh realities we had to face. Those of us who found guidance and had role models we could identify with, we can say “it was tough, but I made it, and it really did get better. “ Unfortunately, not every child finds the support they so desperately long for or the role models to identify with. Many teenagers never get the chance to discover how wonderful they are or how it really does get better.

Please be kind to me on the grammar/typos I still need to do several read-throughs for mistakes.

 
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David Price wrote 584 days ago

John, I've read the first two chapters now, and I am quite touched by your writing and think your story shows great promise. The issues you are writing about - self-identity, coming out, bullying and suicide - concern us all, and I think you set the tone beautifully - and with admirable humility - in the introduction and chapter 1.
I agree with other commentators that you might want to consider other more dynamic ways to present the reading from Colin's journal. The information is extremely relevant to the story, but I did wonder why he started with Nazi Germany first and not historical events closer to home. If I'm not mistaken, gay sex was also illegal in most of the United States as well as being labelled a mental disorder.
In your short pitch, you don't need the hyphen in 'within'.
For now, I'm giving you five stars, and I am keen to read more of your work.
By the way, are you aware of the cherry-pick option? This allows you to highlight your 5 best reviews, which you can change at any time. Just click on the feint cherry symbol on the top right hand corner of a review and it will go to the top of the pile.
David
MASTER ACT: a memoir

Odette67 wrote 600 days ago

I have just read your first Chapter, which i really enjoyed. The opening line is something we all should take on board. I read your synopsis and liked it very much.. I shall put you on my watch list and read on tomorrow.

if you would like a books swap/ bookshelf swap please do let me know. I am happy to help edit or give you suggestions.

Many thanks Kate Off the Rails

tyleradams wrote 400 days ago

John,

Wow. I've read your entire tome and was moved by the content. I hope you're still up for edits. I'm a kind of random guy so I'll just put my impressions out there for you to ponder and hope they may be of use to you.

First off, like I said, you're story moved me - that's the good thing. On the down side the story is very cliche. Lonely gay boy. Beautiful jock. Accident bringing their paths together. ...blah, blah, blah. What I loved were the history lessons and your tackling of high risk gay suicide. Bravo!

Consider opening the story with more punch. You need a stronger hook to pull the casual reader in. You have an important message to convey, it would be a shame to have someone begin reading only to get bored and lay it aside. Perhaps build up Jared's first notice of Tucker with him "drooling" over the nerd who seems to be staring. When they meet, ditch the bycycle accident in favor of an awkward Tucker getting caught red handed doing something silly just so he could catch a glimps of the boy who got in his head.

The history that Collin wrote should be incorporated into the dialogue. Dude, you are very good at writing dialogue so find a way to exploit that strength to the max!

The fact that I didn't see Collin's suicide coming is fine. What's not fine is that I couldn't go back in my mind and see that I missed the nuance that it was coming. Insert more subtle hints into his dialogue with Jared. Collin's death should be a very important part of who Jared becomes, so after you insert the subtle hints, revisit them with Jared's musings of what's important in life and how he can use that experience to impact others who may be at risk. Make Tucker a part of those thoughts too. You wrote about Jared's awareness, at one point, of "meaningless sex" rather than love being the imipetus of one meeting with tucker. Build that into a fear of Tucker that if he doesn't deal with his own fear, he could well lose Jared to the same fate that took Collin's life.

John, this is a very good story. Keep working on it so the casual reader is compelled to keep reading.

Best wishes
tyler adams - The Paths We Chose

Wulffrancu wrote 427 days ago

Your story brought me back to a question I find my self asking every year. Pride. Why do we have pride? What is it for? Just a fun filled weekend/week with boos , drugs, party and raunchy sex and some sort of big march with a bunch of other gay people?
Your story has a very strong and deep voice, and one that should be heard but I'm scared that most in the gay community will not hear that voice and truly understand what it means to them . Its like going to pride why do we have it? What is it all about? Is it then not just a community of gay people coming together to celebrate there sexuality , NO?
As for reading your story, Pride has become to hold a deeper meaning to me , it will now remind me off all those that had to and is still fighting for our rights.
Those that had to live a lei and live in fear, those that died because they wanted to be who they where born to be. Those that hat to endure the suffering for the gay community to be where it is to day .
Pride will remind me to be humble and grateful to those who suffered so that I a s a young gay man can have the freedom, to be me , to love and married my husband, to be together in a public place and not be arrested or threatened . I'm 25 years old , I'm grateful for those before me who has sweped the path clean for me I'm grateful to YOU for writing this , for it has opened my eyes and made me realize just how grateful and thankful i must be to have the life I have now
As for the story it sell was expecting it to be predictable and yet it was not. Well written, i loved it . I also learned things from my own community i did not know tank you for writing this high star my friend
Wulf
The WULF Chronicles

LCF Quartet wrote 434 days ago

Hi John,
This is fantastic! You have your own way with words and your story is highly original. I've noticed the nit-picks our mutual fellow author friends had pointed earlier, so there's no need to be repetitive here on punctuation etc. This can be fixed easily-even without you- but what about a good concept...it can't be created without the author.

I read until the end of Chapter 3 to have a feel of your content and writing style in general, and I can easily say that you should also use the 'popular culture' tag for your book. You touch a bit from everything, so why not?

The dialogue parts are the strength of your book, but your honesty competes with everything you've laid out here. Kudos for being able to express yourself at this caliber and I loved what I read so far.

6 well-deserved stars and in my WL for further feedback as I read on,
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

Dianna Lanser wrote 542 days ago

Hi John,

I’ve read through three chapters of your book and thought it was well written. I appreciated the intro/first chapter, in that it lets the reader know what they’re in for. The story itself was entertaining enough to keep my attention. Your main characters are clearly defined and likeable, and I did find myself feeling compassion toward Colin in chapter two.

The history of how homosexuals were treated during WWII took me by surprise. I’ve never heard that before. Although, it was useful information, it came off as if Colin was reading it right from Wikipedia instead of his journal. Particularly the paragraph beginning, “It’s interesting, that discrimination against gay and lesbian…“ Maybe you could have Colin say something like, “Look what I found in this article.” and then have him read it.

You did a great job showing that Tucker is somehow going to be important to the story when Jared encounters him in the restaurant. And by the end of chapter three, that impression grows even stronger. This builds great interest. Will Tucker be a friend or a foe?

John, I think you’re book is on a good track. You’re a great writer and I hope your book serves the purpose you’ve set for it. Highly starred.

Dianna Lanser

Hope you don’t mind me pointing out a couple typing errors

Chapter two:

“Jared glanced over his should (shoulder) to see if there was someone…”

“… here in the United State (States), homosexuals were being labeled…”

Chapter three:

“Sorry, I think you (your) bike is totaled.“

elsanovel wrote 577 days ago

Your story got me from the first paragraph. You write with great feeling and passion and that comes across in the story. Hope to read more of your writing soon.

AtkAnd1 wrote 582 days ago

Having read the first three chapter's I think this is a good read, and raises some very important issue's that are not always tackled in novelisation. Some Grammar errors, and occasionally you forgot to capitalise Tucker's name. One last thing I noticed at the start of chapter four you say that when Jared was 11 it was 6 years after his Mother's death. In chapter 3 you said she died when he was 7, that is a 4 year gap. Only a slight continuity error. Overall a good peace, and it is developing well.
Any feedback on my work you could provide would be helpful.
Thanks and Good Luck. Andrew.

David Price wrote 584 days ago

John, I've read the first two chapters now, and I am quite touched by your writing and think your story shows great promise. The issues you are writing about - self-identity, coming out, bullying and suicide - concern us all, and I think you set the tone beautifully - and with admirable humility - in the introduction and chapter 1.
I agree with other commentators that you might want to consider other more dynamic ways to present the reading from Colin's journal. The information is extremely relevant to the story, but I did wonder why he started with Nazi Germany first and not historical events closer to home. If I'm not mistaken, gay sex was also illegal in most of the United States as well as being labelled a mental disorder.
In your short pitch, you don't need the hyphen in 'within'.
For now, I'm giving you five stars, and I am keen to read more of your work.
By the way, are you aware of the cherry-pick option? This allows you to highlight your 5 best reviews, which you can change at any time. Just click on the feint cherry symbol on the top right hand corner of a review and it will go to the top of the pile.
David
MASTER ACT: a memoir

Wanttobeawriter wrote 586 days ago

YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
This is an interesting story. Using a jurnal entry to explain Collin is gay is a clever way to reveal that. At the same time, the information about the prison camps and gay history reads more like a school lesion than something that belongs in a novel. I think it’s important to include this in the story, but did you think of other ways to do that? Have Collin argue with the football captain and the info spill out in dialogue? The drama coach talks about it as foundation for a play he wants to produce? Or save it and add it later on a need to know basis rather than push it on yur reader all at once. Either way, this is a good read. I’m starring it and adding it to my shelf. Mark/Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Kathryn Page wrote 590 days ago

I've read the first two chapters and am enjoying it so far. I will read on when I have more time. I like the emotional tone of the piece and the characters are interesting. I will put it on my shelf.

Odette67 wrote 600 days ago

I have just read your first Chapter, which i really enjoyed. The opening line is something we all should take on board. I read your synopsis and liked it very much.. I shall put you on my watch list and read on tomorrow.

if you would like a books swap/ bookshelf swap please do let me know. I am happy to help edit or give you suggestions.

Many thanks Kate Off the Rails

gucci goo wrote 612 days ago

Don't know what to say since this is 1st book I read. Anyway, bullies suck and story's good.

kokako wrote 615 days ago

Hi John,

I’ve finally met all my commitments and now have a bit of time to spend on your book. Cody may have told you that I do pretty detailed reviews, but my sort of critique may not be what you’re after, so what I thought I’d do is comment on the first few chapters and if you think it’s a help to you I’ll review the other chapters on here as time permits. So here goes. Just remember, these are only suggestions, so use what works for you and toss out the rest.

Ch 1 (Authonomy)

1) ‘of knowledge stuck with me’
comma after ‘knowledge’

2) are funny though, many’
comma after ‘funny’
full stop after ‘though’

3) ‘we impart onto others’
This sounds a bit odd. You could say, ‘we pass onto others’ or ‘we impart’, but I don’t think you can say a combination of the two.

4) ‘quoted many times started out’
comma after ‘times’

5) ‘I remember as I transitioned…’
This sentence comes across as incomplete. I think it’s the choice of tenses that does it. Maybe say, ‘I remember transitioning into adulthood; travelling through the emotional peaks and valleys of my teenage years and trying to make the right decisions.’
Or you could say, ‘I remember - as I transitioned into adult and travelled through the emotional peaks and valleys of my teenage years – trying to make the right decisions.’ (I think I like this best).

6) ‘the person other expected’
should be ‘the person others expected’

7) ‘the decision I reasoned’
I think you could remove this. It’s very similar to ‘choices I made’, so it adds nothing to the story except extra words. The sentence is tighter without it.

8) ‘back at my life at that point in time’
This is a little wordy. Maybe say, ‘look back at that point in my life’

9) I wonder if you need Chapter One. As a chapter it doesn’t appear to go anywhere or do anything. In the last paragraph of the prologue you’ve already said he’s going to look back on his life. This doesn’t seem to add anything to that. In fact, it’s almost like a less successful prologue. (To be honest, I wonder if you need the real prologue also, but, I’m not going to offer advice on that until I’m further through the story. Sometimes prologues are useful and provide something essential to the story. More often they don’t, though.)

Ch 2

1) ‘Hey Jared your girlfriend’
commas after ‘Hey’ and ‘Jared’

2) ‘This year began’
should be ‘This year had begun’

3) ‘the very stage he was crossing this very moment’
There’s a repetition of ‘very’ here. Maybe say, ‘the very stage he was crossing right now’

4) ‘he would know better.’
close quotation marks at the end of ‘better’

5) ‘basketball team, it’s’
full stop after ‘team’

6) ‘Do you know the about’
‘the’ should be ‘that’

7) ‘action is hot, I just happen’
question mark after ‘hot’

8) ‘You on the other’
comma after ‘You’

9) ‘are mix-match of imagery’
should be ‘are a mix-match of imagery’
(I’ve never come across ‘mix-match’ before. I’ve always known it as ‘mishmash’)

10) ‘all that geekness’
full stop after ‘geekness’

11) ‘up with that?’
end quotation marks after ‘that?’

12) ‘like a nerd’
comma after ‘nerd’

13) ‘Come on, let’s go’
Open quotation marks before ‘Come’

14) ‘to eat, I’m starving’
full stop after ‘eat’
close quotation marks after ‘starving’

15) ‘5’9’’ not tall’
full stop after 9’’
5’9’’ should be in words (five foot, nine inches)

16) ‘thick blonde hair’
‘blonde’ should be ‘blond’ as he’s a boy

17) ‘black rimmed’
hyphenate

18) ‘When he bought them he thought’
both ‘he’s should be ‘he’d’

19) ‘so he never wore them’
This neither leads on to the next sentence very well, nor finishes his discussion about his glasses. Maybe say something like, ‘so here he was, wearing glasses that were three years out of date (or whatever) and gouged grooves into his temples. At least they didn’t detract from his best feature, though. His best feature was the dimples…’

20) ‘open front door, evidently she’d not realized his absence and had to retrace her steps’
If she hadn’t realized his absence, she wouldn’t have retraced her steps to find him. Maybe say something like, ‘She must have noticed his absence and retraced her steps.’
Full stop after ‘door’

21) ‘I’m coming” he took one final glance’
full stop after ‘coming’
capital ‘h’ for ‘He’

22) ‘I want a cheeseburger Emma said out of the blue, let’s go to chili’s.’
This should be a new paragraph
Should be ‘ “I want a cheeseburger,” Emma said out of the blue. “Let’s go to chili’s.” ’

23) ‘Colin started in the 7th’
should be ‘Colin had started in the third seventh’ (two changes)

24) ‘barely 13 years old’
all numbers should be written as words, and ages should be hyphenated, so this should be ‘barely thirteen-years-old’

25) ‘they fit in. Walking’
should be ‘they fitted in; walking’

26) ‘to each other for a different reason, not for their differences, but for their similarities.’
I’d remove ‘for a different reason’ as you immediately follow it up with ‘not for their differences’ (which implies what the original reason was) and ‘but for their similarities’ (which explains what the different reason is). So the sentence can just be, ‘to each other, not for their differences, but for their similarities’ and it’s tighter and makes just as much sense.

27) ‘Although, at the time they didn’t’
comma after ‘time’

28) ‘later Jared found’
comma after ‘later’

29) ‘at Emma side’
should be ‘at Emma’s side’

30) ‘Jared, still somewhat reminiscing of his own appearance glanced at Emma.’
This is a bit of a strange sentence. Maybe say, ‘Jared, still thinking about appearances, glanced at Emma.’

31) ‘and evident by the muscles’
by rights this needs a comma after ‘and’ but I’d also say ‘as evidenced by’ rather than ‘evident’. I think it would work better.

32) ‘that answers that question’
unless you specifically say that he thought this, you need to change ‘answers’ to ‘answered’ as you’re narrative is in the past tense.

33) ‘4:00 on a Wednesday’
should be ‘Four o’clock on a Wednesday’

34) ‘Los Angeles, one of the big cities’
This doesn’t quite work. Maybe say, ‘Los Angeles, or one of the other big cities’
Or say, ‘Los Angeles – the big cities’

35) ‘the number friends found’
should be ‘the number of friends found’

36) ‘the hour of 4:00’
should be ‘the hour of four o’clock’

37) ‘individuals, three guys; all boasting big… white, teeth and two girls, both’
semi-colon after ‘individuals’
comma after ‘guys’
remove comma after ‘white’

38) ‘from them, he seldom’
full stop after ‘them’

39) ‘on exceptionally hot afternoon’
should be either, ‘on exceptionally hot afternoons’
or, ‘on an exceptionally hot afternoon’

40) ‘something he said or did’
should be ‘something he’d said or done’

41) ‘why he let’
should be ‘why he’d let’

42) ‘he would if needed’
comma after ‘would’

43) ‘Hey there’s Colin’
comma after ‘Hey’

44) ‘As they approached’
should be a new paragraph

45) ‘write that fast’
comma after ‘fast’

46) ‘didn’t reply, she just’
should be ‘didn’t reply. She just’

47) ‘his table giving him’
comma after ‘table’

48) ‘had a look)’
comma after ‘look)’

49) ‘she notice Colin’
should be ‘she noticed Colin’

50) ‘you ok? Both’
should be ‘you ok?” both’

51) ‘in silence waited’
should be either, ‘in silence and waited’
or, ‘in silence, waiting’

52) ‘allowing Collin’
‘Collin’ should be ‘Colin’

53) ‘him where not’
‘where’ should be ‘were’

54) ‘Jared glances over’
‘glances’ should be ‘glanced’

55) ‘good looking, almost too’
full stop after ‘looking’

56) ‘Jared thought, although Emma’
full stop after ‘thought’

57) ‘think so, the angle’
full stop after ‘so’

58) ‘one?” She asked’
small ‘s’ for ‘She’

59) ‘the white tank-top” Jared said’
comma after ‘top’
full stop after ‘said’

60) ‘pretty cool’
comma after ‘cool’

61) ‘said, being a fellow’
full stop after ‘said’

62) ‘from him (the natural blonde) is’
as this is dialogue it would probably be better as, ‘from him – the natural blonde – is’

63) ‘He even pierced’
should be ‘He’d even pierced’

64) ‘mother made him take it out as soon as he got home’
should be ‘mother had made him take it out as soon as he’d got home’

65) ‘he returned’
should be ‘he’d returned’

66) ‘12 year old’
should be ‘twelve-year-old’

67) ‘no one here’
full stop after ‘here’

68) ‘they acted as if we weren’t’
try, ‘they acted as if Colin, Jared and Emma weren’t’

69) ‘of class you can’t’
full stop after ‘class’

70) ‘her feelings said’
comma after ‘feelings’
full stop after ‘said’

71) ‘sighed, inhaled deeply’
should be either, ‘sighed and inhaled deeply’
or, ‘sighed, inhaling deeply’

72) ‘and I knew this story’
should be ‘and Jared knew this story’

73) ‘it use to be’
‘use’ should be ‘used’ (both times)

74) ‘who spent his entire’
should be ‘who’s spent his entire’

75) ‘all I feel is how’
comma after ‘feel’

76) ‘else, I see’
full stop after ‘else’

77) ‘skin toned’
hyphenate

78) ‘I chose to’
‘chose’ should be ‘choose’ (both times)

79) ‘foundation however mainly to cover my pimples.’
This is a bit ungainly. Try, ‘foundation (mainly to cover my pimples).’

80) ‘several visible piercing’
‘piercing’ should be ‘piercings’

81) ‘to that questions I would’
should be ‘to that question, I would’

82) ‘Colin paused, feeling’
full stop after ‘paused’

83) ‘embarrassed he decided’
comma after ‘embarrassed’

84) ‘my mother or father’
should be ‘my mother and father’, but it might be best expressed as, ‘my parents’

85) ‘I received from’
‘received’ should be ‘receive’

86) ‘Emma, interestingly enough’
full stop after ‘Emma’

87) ‘is a “vibe or’
should be ‘is a “vibe” or’

88) ‘Gay Bisexual’
comma after ‘Gay’

89) ‘(LGBT)’
full stop at the end

90) ‘Although, the majority’
remove comma

91) ‘Jewish descent what is’
comma after ‘descent’

92) ‘by the Nazi’s
should be ‘by the Nazis’

93) ‘history the number’
comma after ‘history’

94) ‘as many as 50,000 – 60,000 thousand’
should be ‘as many as fifty to sixty thousand’

95) ‘Nazi occupied’
hyphenate

96) ‘The badged use to identify’
should be ‘the badge used to identify’

97) ‘as a gay person’
comma after ‘person’

98) ‘and force onto a train’
‘force’ should be ‘forced’
semi-colon after ‘train’

99) ‘for bathroom use. When I’
This doesn’t quite work. Perhaps it would be better as, ‘without food and water, with only a communal bucket available for bathroom use, I would have arrived at the destination tired, hungry and scared, the smell of urine, excrement and death clinging to my skin. Like the hundreds of individuals around me, all my possessions would be taken from me, my clothes stripped’

100) ‘barrack- like’
remove the gap before ‘like’

101) ‘finally came, after thousands… had died. Upon my liberation though, unlike survivors’
The sentences don’t work as sentences here. Try, ‘finally came – after thousands… had died – unlike survivors’ (ie Use hyphens and remove ‘Upon my liberation though’)

102) ‘Youth Group, was later’
should be ‘Youth Group and was later’

103) ‘the camps liberation’
should be ‘the camp’s liberation’

104) ‘until 1964’
full stop at the end

105) ‘of shame the gay’
comma after ‘shame’

106) ‘Museum a concentration camp just outside of Munich, Germany to’
commas after ‘Museum’ and ‘Germany’

107) ‘the late 1880’
should be ‘the late 1880s’

108) ‘the early 1900’
should be ‘the early 1900s’

109) ‘were now being labeled’
remove ‘now’

110) ‘Gay related’
hyphenate

111) ‘local authorities jointly’
comma after ‘authorities’

112) ‘women rather than’
comma after ‘women’

113) ‘rejection, the fear of physical abuse chose’
try, ‘rejection or the fear of physical abuse, chose’

114) ‘their feelings, surpass’
change the comma to a semi-colon

115) ‘not labels so, seemed to be beginning’
should be ‘not labeled so, seemed to be the beginning’

116) ‘he shed earlier’
should be ‘he’d shed earlier’

117) ‘in the restaurant Jared thought’
I’d either remove ‘Jared thought’ or put it earlier, after ‘was odd’. Otherwise it sounds as though he thought they were the only ones in the restaurant.

118) ‘other side’
full stop after ‘side’

119) ‘Jared was so engrossed’
should be ‘Jared had been so engrossed’

120) ‘Jared had noticed’
should be ‘Jared noticed’

121) ‘there” Jared said nodding in her direction “she’
should be ‘there,” Jared said, nodding in her direction. “She’

122) ‘idiots” her laugh’
should be ‘idiots.” Emma’s laugh’ (you need Emma here, otherwise it sounds like the waitress speaking as the waitress is the last ‘she’ who was the subject of a sentence.)

123) ‘on” Emma said, “Let’s go, I’ve lost my appetite anyway” ’
should be ‘on,” Emma said. “Let’s go. I’ve lost my appetite, anyway.” ’

124) ‘too” Jared agreed’
comma after ‘too’

125) ‘he slide out’
‘slide’ should be ‘slid’

126) ‘you coming’
question mark after ‘coming’

127) ‘mumbled expressionlessly “Thank you’
should be ‘mumble expressionlessly, “Thank you’

128) ‘again soon”.’
Should be ‘again soon.” ’

129) ‘That must be’
new paragraph

130) ‘behind them Jared paused’
comma after ‘them’

I really liked Chapter Two. You have a nice easy-to-read writing style, good dialogue and great characterization. Colin’s ‘history of gays’ is possibly a bit too detailed for the age group you’re aiming at, and the writing, particularly word choices, seems a little too sophisticated for someone still at school, though.

All-in-all, though, it’s a well-written chapter, but by the end of it I was really wondering if you need anything that comes before it. This chapter stands up really well on its own, without the prologue, or chapter one. Of course, this may change as the story unfolds, but it’s something to think about, anyway.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If it’s the sort of review you’re after, let me know and I’ll work on the rest for you.

Sue

Robert Hinch wrote 719 days ago

John. I like the depth and reflection you have put into the narrative. It probably needs a bit more than 4 chapters to get the real feel for the book. With only 4 chapters to read, I'm not sure what your message is going to be and why it will stand out from the page. Let's see some more then.
Regards
Rob

KoriBates wrote 721 days ago

When I read your pitch, there was something about it that interested me. I've only read the first two chapters, but here's what I think so far. First, the first chapter is very, very short. I'm not sure what that is about? There were quite a bit of punctuation and grammatical errors going on, but those aren't things that can't be easily fixed. The next thing I noticed was the use of Jared's name at the beginning. We understand who you're referring to when he's coming into the new year and thinking about how things will turn out; you don't have to keep repeating it.

A story like this is very important to get out to the public. A lot of people don't understand the impact their words or actions have/had on the LGBT community and books like this can wake them up a little. Although, I'm sure it's like that for those outside of the LGBT community as well. What I didn't particularly like was when they got to Chili's. If Colin hasn't been talking to Emma or Jared much at all for the past year, why would he so readily let them sit with him or want to divulge the journal excerpt in the first place? If I were somewhere where two people came in that I had been avoiding for that long, I'd get up and leave or move somewhere else. With the journal entry, I didn't really believe it. I don't believe that someone can be so "out of the loop" I would say, for lack of better words, about the gay community and the sort of "gaydar" that is present. At seventeen, a person would know how their sexual orientation plays in their outward appearance (or if it does at all) To me, it almost sounds like he's 14 or something. Overall, it's a good start and I do think there's some potential. It just needs to be polished a bit more. Of course, there are just my opinions and you can do with them what you will! Good luck!

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