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Love & Other Curses
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Love & Other Curses
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"I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy in my school who can replace a faulty kick-down switch and also create the perfect smoky eye."The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a...
"I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy in my school who can replace a faulty kick-down switch and also create the perfect smoky eye."The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a...
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Description-

  • "I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy in my school who can replace a faulty kick-down switch and also create the perfect smoky eye."

    The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies.

    Sam doesn't plan to fall for anyone in the weeks before his birthday. He'll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club.

    But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.

    As Sam's birthday approaches and he still hasn't quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets.

    A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he's only seen in a dream might have the answers he's been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.

About the Author-

  • Michael Thomas Ford is the author of the teen novels Suicide Notes and Love & Other Curses. His numerous other works for both adults and teens include some of the earliest books about the HIV/AIDS crisis and several books about the LGBTQ community. His novel Lily was a Tiptree Award long list title and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. He also authors a series of novellas starring some of the most popular contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race, including Sharon Needles, Manila Luzon, and Jinkx Monsoon. He has a lot of tattoos and dogs and a beard.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2019
    Magic, reality, and love combine in a tale of love and identity.Ford (Lily, 2016, etc.) walks several tightropes as he introduces readers to 16-year-old gay country boy Sam Weyward, who is balancing life between his biological family and his created family, the drag queen performers he hangs out with at Shangri-La, the only gay bar around. Sam is from a line of supposedly cursed family members, destined to see the ones they love die--if they fall in love before age 17. When cute, straight, trans Tom Swift enters Sam's life for the summer, the curse seems to be working in overdrive as losses hit both his families. Ford's complex and eclectic characters are perfectly grounded in a world tinged with magic: the "Grands," (Sam's grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother) are Norn-like weird sisters who see small bits of magic in the world around them. Juxtaposed are the trio of queens who help guide Sam on his journey to find his inner drag queen: Lola, Farrah, and Paloma. Mysterious songwriter Linda and Sam's hair-metal-loving father round out the cast. Unfortunately, Tom's characterization as a stereotyped tragic trans teenager distracts from the magic; immediately deadnamed, his body subject to constant scrutiny, Tom's plotline revolves around trope-y trauma and humiliation to enable the cis main character's growth. All major characters are implied white apart from Farrah, who is African-American, and Paloma, who is Latinx.Funny, sexy, and emotionally wrenching, this is a story of growing up. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Sam Weyward, a gay teen in rural New York, knows that if he falls in love before his fast-approaching 17th birthday, the generations-long family curse will kill his love interest. Living with his magic-practicing grandma, great-grandma, and great-great-grandma (the Grands) and his 1980s metal-loving father, he can never forget about the curse. But he finds distraction with drag queens at the gay bar Shangri-La, the family ice cream stand, mysterious phone calls, and Tom Swift, a trans boy staying at the lake this summer. As his friendship with Tom, who is straight, grows more complicated, Sam wonders if the curse can be broken. While there is a lot to enjoy about this book, like the vivid setting and appealing premise, the unhealthy relationship between Sam and Tom, and the often-unchecked transphobia make this a troubling, offensive, and potentially harmful story. Tom is repeatedly deadnamed, misgendered, and outed (with Sam, among others, committing these offenses). The fixation on Tom's body and transition feel voyeuristic and turn him into a one-dimensional character just used for Sam's own development. Sam and the rest of the cast get to be vibrant and complex, with Sam supported and loved both by his biological family and his chosen family of drag queens who are helping him find his drag identity. Tom is miserable, angry, rejected, lacking support, and ultimately forced to present as female-a painful trajectory without much hope. VERDICT Though this novel is funny and highly readable, the tragic trans narrative makes it one to skip.-Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Jeff Garvin, author of Symptoms of Being Human "Michael Thomas Ford has created an intense, complex exploration of family, love, and gender & sexual identity. I learned, I laughed, I got inspired."
  • Bennett Madison, author of September Girls "Funny, heartfelt, and magnifi cently unexpected, Michael Thomas Ford's Love & Other Curses is a gritty, glittery triumph that broke my heart, put it back together again, and left me with a new, much needed sway in my sashay."
  • Susan Vaught, author of My Big Fat Manifesto "A brilliant commentary on what it means to be a family, respect yourself and others, and become your best and most genuine self."

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