Top critical review
Funny But Uninspiring Book
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 11, 2015
This book has somewhat of a strange niche. The writing style seems mainly geared towards a younger audience (probably between 12 and 15), but by the same token, it seems designed for people already out of the closet. I don't really believe any young person questioning their sexuality will find any enlightenment from Absolutely Positively Not. The book's strength is its humor. There were quite a few times I was laughing out loud (especially the first date). It doesn't all work though, as some of the situations seemed too over the top for me, especially everything revolving around the dance. Also, the pacing is all over the place. The first half of the book seems too dragged out, and becomes a bit formulaic and monotonous. The second half of the book, everything just kind of happens, then it ends with very little resolution. It felt to me like the author simply got tired of writing this story and was ready to move on. My biggest complaint about the book, and the reason why I don't think it's very helpful for anyone questioning their sexuality: for a great portion of the book we see Steven desperately wanting someone to talk to, who will give him advice on how to manage coming out to himself and others, and he never gets that. I guess the end is supposed to lead us to believe he finds that in a classmate, but the ending is so abrupt you have to make quite a few assumptions to feel any resolution. My other complaint is that the book kind of paints the picture that gay youth support groups are a vapid time waste that offer no real support. While I'm sure some are like that, I believe that most spend a little more time talking about gay issues and life than watching Finding Nemo or playing ping pong.