Posted in Book Reviews, Queer Reads

Book Review: The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.

Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet – and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.

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How I Found This Book

Many years ago, when I was just 17, I purchased this book for my original Kindle and devoured it in one night. It’s still one of my all time favorite books.

Overall Feeling

I’m still in love with this book. Every time I read it, I find out more and more about myself. I think reading it now, it provides even more insight to things I had felt in high school and college. The writing is so beautiful that it just keeps you engaged from start to finish. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this book. Dade is such a relatable character and I find myself rooting for him every step of the way.

Cons

I don’t know if I have any cons about this book. I do wish Nick Burd would right another book but so far he hasn’t.

Pros

Everything. This was so different from a normal “coming-out” novel and spends more time focusing on Dade as a person rather than just his coming out process. The writing is hauntingly poetic and I always find myself captivated by it as I read. I also feel that it wraps everything up nicely, providing a good ending where you don’t need a sequel (although I would totally read one). I also love the main character so much. I first read this book at 17 and I feel I can still relate to him in some ways. I also love Alex still and as I was rereading this I remembered why I deemed him my perfect book-boyfriend when I first read it.

Diversity? (Possible Spoilers)

Queer main character. Queer author of color.

Trigger Warnings (Possible Spoilers)

Mentions of suicide.

Quotes

I was afraid of giving myself away.

All you do is look for places to get lost

Let it all out. If only I could. Letting it all out would involve me exploding like a firework, a beautiful riot of rainbow sparks bouncing around the car and lighting up the entire lot. Everyone would look over to see what was going on, and one by one they would understand everything I had inside me.

You’re not lonelier than anyone else in the world.

Start fresh. Start with nothing, man. Then work your way back. That’s my motto.

Things and people may just appear, but they appear for a reason.

I’d think back to the times when I felt like everything was closing in on me, those times when I thought I was stuck, and I realized that I was wrong. There is always hope. The world is vast and meant for wandering. There is always somewhere to go.

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Author:

Robin spends most of his time running a certified rape crisis center. In his off hours he uses reading as a way to recharge and re-energize.

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