*Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy*
When Ray Liu’s father finds out he is gay, he is kicked out of the house. Ray’s dad, an army veteran and Chinese immigrant, can’t accept a son who doesn’t share his traditional values. Ray tries to make a life for himself in downtown Toronto, but is soon robbed. Left without money or his cell phone, Ray struggles to survive. Will he have to sell himself for sex in order to survive?
This gritty novel tells the tale of a young man who struggles to fit in. Ray’s friends, while immigrants like himself, have a much easier time learning English and adapting to Western culture. Ray’s family can’t accept his homosexuality, leaving Ray with nowhere to turn. Yee’s novel touches on two groups whose stories are often untold in mainstream YA: immigrants and GLBTQ teens. Ray’s descent into prostitution is heartbreaking to read. Fortunately, there is hope at the end of the novel. The subject matter makes this book more suitable for older teens.