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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Don’t Let Me Go

J.H. Trumble’s debut began as a NaNoWriMo novel. It was also written with a YA audience in mind. In an interview on Lambda Literary the author is is asked how she feels about Kensington’s decision to publish the novel as adult, and I thought her response was quite smart. Yes, teens are likely to find it anyway — especially if librarians hear about it and buy for the teen section — and if it made her more comfortable writing an honest gay love story, it undoubtedly resulted in a better book.

Music is a big part of the story, and Trumble provides a playlist on her website. (Any playlist that includes Rufus Wainwright is OK by me!)

TRUMBLE, J. H. Don’t Let Me Go. 337p. Kensington. 2011. pap. $15. ISBN 978-0-7582-6927-0. LC number unavailable.  Don't Let me Go

Adult/High School–Nate feels his life is over: his lover, who is his rock and at least half of himself, is moving to New York after high school graduation to take an off-Broadway job. Adam, a year older than Nate, has helped him cope with his changed life (giving up football, coming out very publicly, and the horrible gay bashing incident that landed Nate in the hospital). Now they both must learn how to be a couple while being apart. The first half of the book is filled with flashbacks detailing the start of their relationship; the second shows Nate on his own, making friends and making mistakes, including helping a younger student begin to explore his sexuality. Doesn’t that sound normal? That appears to be the point behind Don’t Let Me Go: gay love is as normal, complicated, wonderful, and scary as heterosexual love. The adults in the book are more stereotypical, ranging from completely accepting to “you’re dead to me,” all of which GLBTQ students may encounter as they come out at home and at school. This is a great addition to GLBTQ collections, and a good read for those teens looking for a gay love story that explores a relationship in the same way that straight love stories do.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.


  1. “[G]ay love is as normal, complicated, wonderful, and scary as heterosexual love.”

    Yes! Thank you for that beautiful and insightful review.

  2. We posted a review for this great book after we found it in May- we even mixed up some names on the blog and Trumble was so gracious in her correction. Still love the book, now we love the author!