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The Bible Boys by Dan Skinner
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The Bible Boys

by Dan Skinner

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Matt always felt fearful and doomed after listening to one of those sermons. Like there was no hope for a real life at all.

So yes, starting this book was just as I expected. Dan Skinner pulled on my emotions something terribly last month with Memorizing You, so what was I to expect from a book about two boys trapped in a living hell that masked itself as religion...as God's word? Where our sweet Matt was disciplined for the slightest indiscretion.

...But he that loveth him corrected him. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell. Thomas Moore was very fond of delivering Matt's soul from hell.

“I can’t even tell you when I first started to hate the church. It seemed like I always sensed something was off about it. Something that didn’t feel right. And when I started getting beatings all the time for even the littlest things, I realized that I didn’t only hate the church, I was hating them. I was hating my folks. I figured out that my home was a prison and they were the warden and guard. That I wasn’t living life. I was serving time for the crime of being born to them.
My heart was breaking already.

But what I did not expect was the HOPE...the DISCOVERY...and the absolute NATURAL love that took hold of these two boys. There was no angst, only sheer love and hope for something more.

Caleb is an absolutely beautiful character who shows Matt a different perspective through nature...
Carefully, he plucked a wildflower and held it before his eyes. The bee still buzzed around it. “This is real magic. It’s greater than angels and all that other nonsense because it’s real. You can see it, hear it and know what it’s doing. What this bee takes from the flower, it turns into honey that we can spread on our toast, taste it and say: ‘Yum!’” He gently handed the flower to Matt so he could watch the bee up close.

Matt knew. His world had changed in a matter of hours. He knew for the first time ever that someone existed who actually cared for him. That he cared for him, too. It had been a natural, irresistible force that brought the two of them together.


Without expectation, love had found him.

My only negative really was the abrupt ending. Was I dis-satisfied with the end...no, but my Kindle showed 86% when the words "The End" appeared...sad really.

The beauty though, is that Dan has created a story where we as readers can see the what next. We can envision the hopeful future that lies ahead for these two beautiful loving "heroes". My mind likes what it sees.

*photograph by Dan Skinner
Another fabulous BR with Elsbeth (review), Christina (review), Ingela, Vilda (review) Zainab and Susan (review)
" ( )
  JulieCovington | May 29, 2016 |
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: A Sin. An Abomination. Teenagers Caleb and Matthew had been told by the radical fundamentalist church that dominated their families' lives that a love like theirs—between two boys—was unnatural and forbidden. That it would damn them forever. The religion controlled their families like puppets, watched their every move, made keeping a secret almost impossible. They had only one chance to be together...and it would be a daring one right under the noses of the very people who would condemn them...

My Review: How charming this was! How wonderful the breaking-free fantasy is for all of us who don't have Golden Boy stamped on our lives the instant we're born. (Which is to say "all of us.")

But really. "I wanted to know what it felt like to be joined to you!" Spoken by a 20-year-old in the throes of passionate virginal lovemaking with his 18-year-old lover? Hell, ANYone experiencing passionate lovemaking even NOT for the first time who can be that articulate? Please. If you can focus long enough to emit a sentence like that, someone's doing something wrong.

So there's that. And then there's the religion thing, which anyone who's ever read anything I've ever posted since I got a personal ISP account in 1993 can tell you is right up my alley. Yes, religious people are unkind to those who are different, and young religious people are very unkind to everyone like all other young people. But these pantomime villains! The creepy youth pastor wantin' to nosh on some chicken! Wee bit overstated.

So it sounds like I'm going to make this a bad 3-and-a-half star review. But that's not my purpose. Mr. Skinner sets a beautiful scene with his descriptions of the Clare farm, the over-barn apartment, the flowers and the corn and the stock tank. The horse Perseus. The fireflies and the shooting stars. Just lovely, all of it.

But the stars are all for this, an essential and a true and a beautiful expression of an eternal reality we grope blindly for then so often drop and shatter when we find:
Love does not make cowards. It creates heroes.
Yes.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Sep 9, 2014 |
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