“Life is fabulous for Jonathan Parish. He’s seventeen, out and proud, and ready to party through senior year with his posse of best girlfriends. But the year starts off with the wrong kind of bang when Jonathan — in an inebriated lapse of judgment — sleeps with a friend of his…a girl friend! When word gets around that hot-but-previously-unavailable Jonathan might be on the market, the school’s It girl approaches him with a proposal: pretend to be her boyfriend, and achieve popularity like he’s never known. But popularity isn’t what Jonathan wants. And suddenly, going back into the closet becomes Jonathan’s only way to get what he’s after — a trip to see Kylie Minogue.”
The straight road to Kylie is a cute fun flouncy book in the best way possible. Its a journey not of coming out of the closet but what its like when you go back in. Jonathan deals with wild parties crazy friends and a deal. A deal that would give him something he always wanted, but at what price? You have to take this book at face value for the most part looking for the hidden depths is just not going to work. It’s not a story looking to make social commentary it’s light, charming and fun.
Jonathan’s life so far has been pretty easy he came out to his parents, his friends, his school and has come out the other side in a very loving and good place. He is who he is and he doesn’t apologize for it. But like most teenagers at seventeen is always looking for the unattainable the perfect boyfriend popularity and of course the chance to see Kylie Minogue. After his best friends birthday where he has sex with a girlfriend his life is turned upside down. He soon finds himself being propositioned by the most popular girl in school to date. To go back in the closet and maybe just maybe get everything he has always wanted. So of course he does it but like most people he finds that grass is always greener on the other side. Jonathan realizes that he misses the life he used to have and that shoving yourself back in the closet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But because this is teen lit everything comes to a close with a happy bow. I promise I am not ruining anything for you.
I really like this book when I’m reading it, its frothy and fun. It makes me laugh out loud and sort of wish Jonathan was my best friend because he is adorable. But it is not perfect, it stays to the straight and narrow (no pun intended) path most teen lit books do. The conflict-resolution is simple and is easy to spot. You can tell the end of the book about a hundred pages in. It is different from many gay teen novels because it deals not with coming out of the closet and the challenges associated with that, but it deals with the challenges associated with being or going back into the closet. You genuinely feel bad for Jonathan sometimes during this book while at the same time wanting to smack him upside the head for putting himself in this position in the first place.
I will say that I love the portrayal of one of Jonathan’s best friends Carrie. She is probably the one of if not the best portrayal of bisexuality in teen books. You do not see it all that often in LGBTQ literature, and when you do its just not real. It seems fake or forced. But with Carrie I found myself a little in love with her. She is strong and sweet and her sexuality does not define her. She chooses to embrace her love of all the people and date and or sleep with who she likes. She makes no apologies and the people in her life give her no reason to apologize. There is no biphobia in this book and the issue of bisexuality is dealt with nicely here.
There were things about this book that were not so great. For most of the book Laura the girl Jonathan fake dates bugs the hell out of me. She just seemed really fake like a stereotype of every mean girl you have ever read or seen. But I cant complain too much about her because she redeems herself in the end of the book. I wont give it away but it was a shock to me the first time I read this book. But Jonathan himself could be seen as a stereotype. He is very out and proud which is in no way a bad thing nor is liking things that are stereotypical, but these stereotypes Jonathan falls in don’t add anything to his character. They are just there, whether to make him relatable to the readers or the author just thought it would fun I’m not sure. But I felt like Jonathan could have been a better character without all of those useless things.
Overall I love this book, I find it to be an enjoyable read. It is quick and very simple. You can read it in one sitting if you’re ambitious. I honestly would love to have a cutie like Jonathan in my life. I love the idea of exploring what its like for someone to go back into the closet instead of coming out. It was done reasonably well. The straight road to Kylie is a simple and fun book that is a great way to pass a couple of hours.
4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.
You can buy this book here.