LGBTQ READERS BOOK CLUB

November's Choice

SURRENDER YOUR SONS by ADAM SASS

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Resources for Help:

The Born Perfect Project (in Partnership with Surrender Your Sons)

National Suicide Hotline

The Trevor Project

Lambda Legal

Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare.
His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”
But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide—from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director—and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are—and taking this place down.

Interview with Adam!

Patrick: What was the inspiration behind SYS?

Adam: SURRENDER YOUR SONS began with my love of thrilling adventure stories. I loved the idea of people in a desperate, isolated situation having to rely on each other to escape. The LGBTQ+ community is so vast and diverse, and I wanted to see this same adventure story with a group of queer teens trying to survive. Around the time I was brainstorming ideas, Showtime put out a documentary called “Kidnapped for Christ,” which was about a real-life conversion therapy camp in the Dominican Republic. It was so intensely emotional, but then these two ideas collided and created SURRENDER YOUR SONS! I wanted to see these queer kids fight back and be forced to work together to bring this camp down.

PM: When it comes to LGBTQ representation, what did it mean for you to include an authentic experience like that included in SYS?

AS: SURRENDER YOUR SONS depicts cruel people putting young queers through unimaginable horrors, so that was difficult to write. However, the light in the dark is that I always wanted the queer authenticity of how we survive horrors: humor, agency, and sometimes a victory or two. My favorite part of SURRENDER YOUR SONS is the characters and the bonds between my queer teen campers. Writing them, letting them have laughs and sweet moments and kick-ass scenes where they worked together gave me joy. My book shows that love and hope can never be killed, not even when everyone and everything seems to be against you.

PM: What advice do you have to young LGBTQ kids reading your book and facing unwelcoming or unsafe home life situations?

AS: If bad things are happening to you as queer person, they aren’t your whole world. Even during dark times, there can be moments where you can laugh with friends, fall in love, and experience joy in your own ways. The next thing I’d say would be you’re in charge of your coming out, so if there are physical, emotional, or financial threats that are too large to overcome just yet, you can stay in and still be yourself. Even closeted, Connor knew exactly who he was, and so can you. Like Connor and his friends, if you’re in a hostile home situation, be patient, be a spy, and work on your long-term “escape” plan.
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Adam and Michael!

Adam and Michael

Adam's "Office"

Adam's Office

Preview the December Book Club Pick!

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FROM DARKNESS
by KATE HAZEL HALL
Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can’t forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly, and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari’s soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go.

Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari’s remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing.

Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift. Though their bond seems unbreakable, it may not be enough. It is up to Ari to find the courage to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.
ENTER for your chance to win one of THREE signed copies of FROM DARKNESS from DUET BOOKS.

Tweet @Literary_Patrick with the Hashtag #LGBTQReaders your favorite part of the November or October Book of Choice!
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