Spoiler Page: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Ok, by now you should know the drill… my spoiler pages are just that… SPOILERS.  That means I am going to talk about the book featured here just like I was talking to someone who has read it.


Because if you are here – you should have read the book.  My review, that is spoiler free… this page… is not.

Consider yourself warned :D

You may wonder why I need a spoiler page for a short middle grade graphic novel and honestly… I have questioned myself as well.  However – there were a couple of things (I know, I know I said in my review that there was one – but there is two….) that bugged me just a bit and I need to know if it is just me.  :D

Why, you may ask again, does this matter?

On this particular book I am taking a unique (maybe?) look at it.  Mainly, because I have spent the last 2 1/2 years working on a book about a woman in the area I live in who has had AIDS from an emergency blood transfusion for 31 years.  And yes, I know this book is not about AIDS, but by writing this book about this amazing woman who instead of being down about her diagnosis has lived her life to help educate and support others with AIDS as well.  I have went to an AIDS camp the past two years for learning more about the subject, but – not only that… I have met some wonderful people who I am proud to call my friends.  By writing this story, I have grown so much in my knowledge of same-sex relationships and what the gay community still battles today as far as stigma.

Ok – that said.. what I noticed right away in this book was when the twins Justin and Jesse were introduced (page 30), Justin is clearly a little over the top with his emotions.  You can see it in the pictures and in his words.  I instantly thought is this character gay?  AND here is where I get tripped up.  On one hand I thought, you know, this is where the stigma comes from – this character is being portrayed as flamboyant, over the top and just short of jazz fingers.  On the other hand… maybe Raina is just brilliant and that is what she was going for, the reader to notice right away when Justin is introduced that he is different, just like we do in real life. 

That is point #1. 

Point #2, is later in the book we find out that Jesse is also gay.  Two things come to mind here… first… why have both twins gay?  What are the odds of that?  I am sure it is not unheard of… but , well… I don’t know.  And then on the flip of that, I liked that Jesse was harder to tell that he was so here again Raina confuses me but impresses me too because here is a gay character who acts just like every other guy and that is important for us – and for children to see. 

Ok, I hope that made sense.  That has stuck with me since I read the book and I would love some other opinions on this.  Did you feel as I did when Justin was introduced?  Did you notice his actions prior to him coming out to Callie?  And how did you feel about both twins being gay? 

Chat with me – it’s all fair here :D

  1. I jus finished reading the book today. I thought it was quite original and funny how the book ended. It isn’t how you would expect a typical book ending. All throughout the story it was all about: “Jesse and Callie, Jesse and Callie, Jesse and Callie.” and I adored the idea of them ending up together! But they didn’t, and that’s what I think made the story so great. Aside from the entertaining characters and hilarious plot, Raina shows us that things in life can usually take unexpected turns.

  2. I finished reading the book today. It was so good, I’m going to read Smile now. Lol

  3. i liked this book but my cousin whos 10 doesnt really about sexs and etc so when she saw them kissed she asked about she was confused i didnt know what to do. i thought it was unnessary to have that when the boys kissed, so i returned the book back.

  4. I literally just finished he book like, half an hour ago, and already had to reread it (basically skimmed it) like 3 times because so was so confused. I thought from the begging that Justin was gay, it was pretty obvious. But when Jesse confessed to Callie that he was gay to, I got super confused. After first I thought I go Justin and Jesses name mixed up, like that Jesse was the gay one from the begging, and Justinw as the straight one.

    I wish the book was longer, i would love to know if Jesse really is gay, or if he was just so wrapped up in the kiss from Moon over Mississippi, with West, that he thought he was gay, especially with his brother being gay.

    I would also like to know if Justin stays gay, cause he says it, talks about how he likes so and so, and then that’s it. Also, I keep wondering what Jesse and Justin’s parents/dad would think.

    So many question!

  5. It is one of my favorite books very original and is actualy realistic like smile she is such a great author

  6. There are also a lot of other good points that should be mentioned. For instance, the fact that Callie is a girl that finds creative solutions to her problem. I think she makes a good role model!

  7. I thought the book was quite confusing so I had to skim through it again
    Over all the book is okay
    if I knew this was going to be like this I probably wouldn’t have bought it

  8. Well I for one thought the same about Justin. But when I found out about Jesse I was like, that’s kinda messed up how she had to find out. He could’ve just told her ya know?

  9. I thought Justin was straight but he is gay. But spoillerrrr alertttttttttttt.

  10. I think one gay brother was enough. To really explore another aspect of friendship and roles, it would have been better if other parts of the story were developed… It was like ok, been there, done that, we saw homosexuality. It made me not like the book as much.

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