Saints of Augustine
P.E. Ryan has created not one, but two complex, genuine main characters: teenage guys that (contrary to popular belief) think, feel, sometimes say and do the wrong things, but come through in a pinch. The way both react to their challenges is touching, funny, and, most of all, believable, and the novel's uplifting ending reminds us not to underestimate people. Absolutely delightful but not so far-fetched that it seems too good to be true, Saints of Augustine put a smile on my face from beginning to end. One of the best books of the year.
This is a great read about something that often happens when you're in high school - friendships falling apart. When Sam called Charlie up to tell them they just couldn't be friends any more, no explanation was provided. Flash forward one year, and Sam and Charlie are both in rough shape. Sam is dealing with figuring out that he's gay and the implications for his relationships with his family, recently divorced parents, his dad being gay, and the new guy his mom is dating. Charlie's mom has died and his father is falling apart via alcohol while Charlie has gotten himself over his head in debt due to the pot he's been smoking.
When the situation reaches a crisis point for both of them, they realize they are really in need of a great friend . . . One of my favorite aspects of this book is that you get this sort of thing with girls as the protagonists all the time, but not so with boys, and it shows how guys really have strong and important friendships without being corny or fake.