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In Mike We Trust: 04/28/11
I was invited to be a judge on last year's Nerds Heart YA brackets. In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan was the book my co-judge and I voted to move to the next round.
Garth is a gay teenager living with his mother. Both are grieving the recent death of his father and their emotional state gets in the way of their coming to terms with Garth's sexuality. He wants to be out to everyone; Mom would prefer he wait until they know for sure that it's safe for him to be that out.
In the middle of this chaos comes Mike, Garth's uncle and identical twin to his father. Although identical in appearance he's the polar opposite in personality. All though he's a conman and moocher he's the only one who seems completely willing to accept Garth on Garth's terms.
As some of the other reviews have mentioned the ending doesn't feel realistic but neither does the beginning. The set up is obviously contrived. But it doesn't matter. The book is mostly about Garth and Mike and the misadventures they have. It's a fun book with a likable protagonist.