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No Irish Need Apply by Edward C. Patterson
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No Irish Need Apply

by Edward C. Patterson

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Kevin and Louis are high school seniors, each the only child of a widowed Irish American mother, but while Kevin's mother is reasonably comfortably well off and happy with her life, Louis' mother struggles both financially and emotionally.

While Kevin has no problems at school, Louis is generally considered to be gay, so when Kevin he is assigned to be helped by Louis as his study partner, his friends were wary even suggesting he should refuse the assignment. But Kevin goes ahead, during one session he looks into Louis' eyes and feels a sense of something he cannot explain, although Louis recognises what he sees in Kevin's eyes and is sure he has found someone of his kind, and soon he is proved right, although Kevin has difficulty at first accepting that he is gay.

They start spending all their time in each other's company and become intimately involved making good use of Kevin's bedroom and bed. But when the prospect of the school Prom looms, and the question of who they will take, little do they realise the backlash that will result from the decision they make.

The varied response extends to their respective mothers, one accepting, the other not, but regardless the two boys remain firm in their love for one another.

No Irish Need Apply is a beautifully written - almost poetic at times - charming and positive love story of two boys, the lonely sissy boy with nothing to loose and the popular boy with seemingly everything to loose but determined to stand by his love - and face the consequences which is intended as a play on the book title.

The interesting, appropriate and well designed book cover illustration makes a refreshing change from all those muscle hunk photographs! ( )
  Bembo | Mar 27, 2011 |
I enjoyed this very much. It follows the growing relationship between two young men in the build-up to their High School Prom. After the story of the Mississippi prom which was cancelled earlier this year, the novel (which was published in 2008) seems remarkably prescient and topical. I thought the love story was delicately handled and the responses of the boys’ mothers to the relationship were sensitively drawn.

The writing is clear and at times poetic, with excellent dialogue. The whole book is suffused with a quiet sense of humour which made for a pleasant reading experience. Even if you don’t think this is your cup of tea, I’d urge you to give it a try. I think it would appeal to a wide range of readers.

Unlike the earlier reviewer, I didn't notice any grammatical or spelling errors in the Smashwords edition. I do tend to agree about the cover though... ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 2, 2010 |
It took me two tries to get into this book. The first time around I only read 5 pages and then was so disgusted by the mispellings and grammatical errors, I threw it in the “yard sale” pile.

I woke up the next morning and figured I would give it another go. I really don’t like not finishing books. The first 5 pages were the same. Made me upset and I had to stop all the time to figure what what he was trying to say. However…

After those 5 pages, this book is not all that bad. The mistakes are greatly reduced and the grammar (while still bad) was still somewhat forgivable.

This is a good story about two high-schoolers who go through finding themselves, accepting what they find, and then thrusting their find into the world. It’s a nice quick read. It only took me 1.5 hours to get through the book as it is easy-going and pretty free flowing.

That being said, I do have two complaints. The first is the decisions the boys make and the reaction of their peers during the prom wasn’t very well explored. If this book is being touted and giving a glimpse of what goes through people’s minds, the glimpse was far too narrow and brief to make its mark. The book as it is written fails for me for that reason. Adding more chapters and really exploring the characters hearts and soul would have made it a deeper read.

The second complaint would be the cover. It’s horrid. In a time where book lovers get thrown hundreds of books a week as potential reads, the covers are the only thing they have to go by. The title is misplaced, the font is horrible, and the art looks like it was drawn by a elementary art student.

All that being said, it was a quick, easy read. Nothing too memorable (if at all) but still passable. ( )
  TheBookJournal | Nov 25, 2009 |
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