Orphan's Quest: Book Review

by underdarkness

When I first picked up Orphan's Quest, it was out of sheer interest to find out whether a novel deemed a "gay fantasy" could possibly be a good read. Most novels I've come by that specify the main characters as gay often times end up being preachy and tedious to get through without snoring or yelling at the pages, though I figured I'd give Orphan's Quest a chance.

The story starts off with a young man, Rokey, going through his studies at a sort of boarding school called the Noble Contemplative. The hierarchy of faculty at the school is vaguely reminiscent of a Catholic institution, minus the religious rule. From the start, we see that Rokey is attracted to other young men.

We also come to find that the world in which Rokey lives is incredibly tolerant of gays (or Samers, as they're called in the story). Through an accident that Rokey is ultimately blamed for, he is sent away from the confines of the school and is told never to return. The night following, Rokey is attacked and is saved by a young elf named Flaskamper (or Flash). From there, Rokey is introduced to Flash's fellow misfits who make their way from town to town to get by.

Conversations and Cosmopolitans: Book Review

by ForeverEndedToday

In Conversations and Cosmopolitans: How to Give your Mother a Hangover, a book by mother and son Robert and Jane Rave, a smart and witty perspective of life as a young gay male trying to find his place in the gay community, and a mother trying to knock some sense into her child is given. Whether it's about online dating or "manscaping," mama always has something to say.

Robert, who at the beginning of the book comes out to his parents through a letter, is a 21-year-old mid-western man who has recently moved to New York City to get a fresh start, and according to him, share sushi with Renee Zellweger.

Robert offers a comical account of his desire to fit in with the gay community and overcome his lack of self-confidence. His portion of the book is well written, and manages to grab the attention of the reader by focusing on major events that will have the reader laughing at his failed attempts to be smooth.

Freak Show: Book Review

by underdarkness

Freak Show, by James St. James, is the story of a young drag queen, Billy, who is trying to get the people at his school to like and accept him … by dressing up as a swamp monster in green makeup. The narrator of this story automatically struck me as being the most flamboyant human being on earth.

The story opens with talk of makeup and sewing scraps of fabric together to make FABULOUS new fashion statements. Billy is, in essence, the gayest human being that ever walked the fictional earth. Billy's attempts to fit in at his high school are, quite frankly, freaking hilarious. This book doesn’t miss a beat with the humor of being an outcast or the insanity that come from homophobic students.

On this first day of school at his new high school, Billy walks into his biology class and greets each and every student with an "air peck" on the cheek and scans the room for his first friend. He sits down next to a beefy, flat-faced guy named Bernie and quickly begins commenting on how amazing his fashion sense is, all the while biting his tongue at how incredibly horrible it actually is. Then, out of nowhere, as Billy puts his hand on him, Beefy Bernie shouts, "Touch me again faggot, and I'll kick the crap out of you!" Whoa… WHOA. Where did that come from?

Contest winners

Julie Anne Peters contest: andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname

Vintage contest: 1stTeeka, and, once again, andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname

Send me your addresses, so i can let the authors send your your signed prizes.

Show Me: DVD Review

by dykehalo

While watching Show Me, my first instinct was to love it because it is Canadian and lesbian and I'm a Canadian lesbian.

It's hard for me to say whether it's a good movie or a bad movie. I was biased going into it because of the Canadian aspect. If I was forced to make some kind of decision, I'd have to say it's pretty good for a Canadian movie but as a movie in general it was only okay. I enjoyed it and would watch it again but it won't be one of those movies that never come out of the DVD player.

After shooing away two squeegee kids, Sarah calls her girlfriend Sam to ensure she is going to meet her at the cabin for their tenth anniversary. Sam is busy trying to resolve a hostile takeover and cannot make it up to the cabin. The whole time Sarah is making the phone call the two kids, Jen and Jackson, are staring her down, so she rolls down her window and offers them money. They immediately jump into the car, insist they only want to go to the next intersection, but end up hijacking her.

Win a signed copy of Vintage!

Steve Berman, author of Vintage, is giving two Oasis readers the chance to win a signed copy of his book (reviewed by underdarkness below).

All you have to do is enter by sending an e-mail to:

Just include the keyword VINTAGE and your Oasis username to that address before noon PT on May 23.

Vintage: Book Review

by underdarkness

When I first picked up this book, I honestly thought I wouldn't like it because of its tagline, "A Ghost Story." I have rarely been able to get into books that are so blatantly described as such, but I figured I'd give it a chance.

I'm certainly glad I did. It is a sweet, if enticingly eerie, coming of age story that delicately fits in all we have come to expect in a gay teen's coming out years. Alongside this there is room for first love, gothic interest, a stalking ghost and the best girl friend that every young gay man has. The characters are shockingly believable and give a level of depth within the book's pages.

The unnamed narrator describes his experience with a ghost, Josh, which he came by on a midnight walk on an abandoned stretch of highway. What the narrator first believes to be a dream come true turns into something quite different as the ghost of a handsome jock run down by a drunk driver in the 50's refuses to let him be. As for the rest of the story, you will just have to read it now, won't you?

Julie Anne Peters: Interview

by dykehalo

I was really excited when I got a private message from Jeff asking me to do an interview with Julie Anne Peters. Originally I declined because I was too nervous and scared; after all I'm 15 year old who has no experience at doing any kind of interview. Eventually I asked Jeff if the offer was still good, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up on.

I can still remember the day I picked up Keeping You a Secret; it was Saturday August 5, 2006. KYAS (as many people refer to it) is the one GLBT themed book that has made the greatest impact on my life. To this day it is STILL my favourite book even a year later and after reading about 20 other GLBT themed books.

Julie has written 5 teen/young adult books: Keeping You a Secret, Luna, Between Mom and Jo, Far From Xanadu, and Define Normal. All of which are pretty great. My dog liked Define Normal the best; he ate all the corners of it.

The interview was done via e-mail, which wasn't bad because it meant I could take time, think of questions, consult my friends at lunch and consult Jeff.

Even though it was done via e-mail, her personality still managed to come out. She would e-mail me to let me know the answers were coming soon, and best of all actually, spell my name properly which is always a bonus when you spell a normal name a weird way.

Julie Anne Peters Contest!

To coincide with dykehalo's interview with Julie Anne Peters, we have a special contest that you won't want to miss!

One lucky winner will receive signed copies of all Julie Anne Peters' young adult books, including Define "Normal," Keeping You A Secret, Luna, Far From Xanadu, and Between Mom and Jo.

All you have to do is enter by sending an e-mail to:

Just include the keyword JULIE and your Oasis username to that address.

29th & Gay: DVD Review

by lost_in_wonderland

Please God, when will it end?

That was the only thing I could think of when watching the utter monstrosity known as 29th and Gay.

I wanted to like this movie. I really wanted to like this movie. There's such a lack of authentic gay comedies, I wanted this one to be an indie gem to be treasured.

Needless to say, that was not the case.

James Sanchez is a gay man who has just had his 29th birthday and is feeling the pressure of settling down. He's a wannabe actor who works at an amusement park/movie studio. He has an enormous crush on the coffee boy at the local coffee shop, and engages in several hijinks while spying on him. His best friend and former roommate Roxy, a woman looking for a cause after turning into an activist for no apparent reason, tries to give him sound advice about dating. His other friend Brandon, a flaming queen, drags him out to clubs and hooks up with various boys, leaving James to his own devices. His parents are extremely supportive and try to acclimate to the gay lifestyle that they think their son is living.

Sounds hilarious right?

Tim Gunn: Interview

By Jeff Walsh

With his new book, "A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style," Tim Gunn brings the expertise and charm that has made him famous on "Project Runway" and boiled it down to the essentials that everyone can use in their own life. Gunn, 53, recently left Parsons: The New School for Design, where Project Runway is taped, for a new position as chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, although he will return for the show's fourth season. In addition, Gunn will also host Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, which will air as eight one-hour shows on Bravo starting in September.

As much as I love Project Runway, and understand that it is "reality TV," I was surprised at how down to earth and affable he was. Our initial interview was set up for Friday, via phone, a day in advance of his San Francisco visit. He was doing two book events in one day, so not surprising to do it over the phone, really. So, he calls me on Friday, and just as we're getting started, I mention I'll be seeing him at the book event in San Francisco tomorrow. "You're in San Francisco? Why don't we do this in person? We'll get a better interview that way." We make plans to meet at the bookstore the following day, in advance of his event, and that was that.

MySpace... you can't be gay anymore?

Read on a blog that MySpace recently removed "gay" as an option for sexual orientation. I, of course, thought this was bogus, but then I went and checked my profile options and I was now listed as a lesbian. Although my public profile still says gay...

Anyone know more about this?

Clouds and Eclipses: Book Review

by lost_in_wonderland

Initially, I was hesitant about reviewing this book. A collection of short stories is no easy feat to repass. However, I chose to continue and I'm glad that I did.

Consistent, entertaining, and thought-provoking by turn, the stories within are all wonderful and poignant; Gore Vidal is known more for his novels and essays, but these stories, originally published as Thirsty Evil, minus a new story, are to be treasured. Most stories are from Vidal's early career, with one inclusion, from Tennessee Williams' youth, removed due to the prolific playwright's request. Gore Vidal is truly a great storyteller.

20/20 on Friday night all about trans teens

Just want to tip everyone off that 20/20 this Friday, April 27, is a Barbara Walters special all about transgender teens. Should be interesting, so set your TIVOs and VCRs.

Here's some information about the show online.

Loving Annabelle: DVD Review

by StateOfTheOnion

I'll admit it; the only real reason I wanted to see Loving Annabelle, a film focusing on the taboo relationship between a teacher and a student, was for the high hotness factor. Well, the film did deliver in the hotness capacity, but it delivered in so many other ways as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find this film well constructed and, for the most part, very believable.

Annabelle, played by the talented Erin Kelly, is the daughter of an absentee-mother-type who is also a Senator. When she begins attending a Catholic boarding school she quickly makes a lasting impression among the students and the staff.

Annabelle is rebellious, tempestuous, and unapologetic (hot). Ms. Simone Bradley, played by Diane Gaidry, is quite the opposite. She is closeted and very tempered. Despite their differences, the two fall in love with one another. The film explores their relationship but manages to do so without being too preachy in favor of either side of the teacher/student relationship debate.

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