* I received Money Boy by Paul Yee as a submission for the YABA
I had trouble reading this because of the diction. I think (hope) that the bad grammar, poor English, and strange slang was intentional to create an authentic character but it was painful to read. I liked the insights about the pressures immigrant teens face but I was not impressed by the novel as a whole. I think the story of a gay character rejected by his family is becoming overdone. It’s an important story to have out there, but it needed a fresh take. I like characters who are more than their sexual orientation, ones with more depth like in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
I think the title gives away too much and there should have been more leading up to Ray’s prostitution. Maybe it was the disjointed language, but I had a lot of trouble connecting with Ray and understanding the choices he made. The ending felt like a cop-out, an easy fix tacked on at the last-minute. The plot had potential to be heartfelt and compelling but it just wasn’t.