What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Ian Duncanson of Beaverton City Library.
Griffin’s first love was a boy named Theo. Unfortunately, first loves have a tendency to end, and the two broke up. Theo headed to California for college, leaving Griffin back in New York City. Despite Theo meeting and starting to date Jackson, Griffin secretly harbored hope that the two would one day reconcile. Sadly, all of those hopes are dashed when he learns that Theo has died tragically in a swimming accident in his adopted state.
Griffin’s grief consumes him and begins to drag his entire life down. When Jackson arrives in New York City for the funeral, Griffin’s mental state continues to spiral down with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder growing progressively worse. He replays his vanished relationship in his mind, the good times and bad, and ponders the “what might have been.” No matter how much he lives in the past, Griffin is ultimately stuck in the present where Theo is dead and he’s trying to hold it together. Secrets and revelations emerge during his recollections; it turns out that his relationship with Theo had more underlying complexities that he initially realized. Can Griffin ever come to terms with his grief and loneliness, or is he cursed to live in the past while throwing away his future?