Book: The God Box

"The God Box"

Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they’re good together. They have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir and being active in Bible club. But when Manuel transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen anyone in their small town has ever met, and yet he says he’s also a committed Christian

Talking to Manuel makes Paul reconsider thoughts he has kept hidden, and listening to Manuel’s interpretation of Biblical passages on homosexuality causes Paul to re-evaluate everything he believed. Manuel’s outspokenness triggers dramatic consequences at school, culminating in a terrifying situation that leads Paul to take a stand.

If you’re into reading diaries, then this book is for you. Unfortunately, I’m not. That’s not to say the book wasn’t well-written. I thought it was. I still think it is. I guess I was just expecting something else.

No, I’m not going to diss the novel. Because even though I was expecting something else, and even though I didn’t like the fact that it read like a journal–I still liked what the book was trying to say.

I’ve been on the lookout for a Young Adult novel that dealt with homosexuality for a few weeks now. I haven’t kept it a secret that I’m part of GMA-7’s My Husband’s Lover, right? All right. Anyway, if you hadn’t known before, now you do.

Thing is, with worlds I’m not familiar with, I go to great lengths at getting to know said world. I did this for Bantatay before, for Futbolilits, and Indio. Now, I’m doing the same for My Husband’s Lover. And I must say, The God Box is a very enlightening novel.

Again, it reads like a diary. In my case, even if I wasn’t a fan of how the story was being told, I still think that it’s the best way of getting its point across. It helped me get into the mind of at least one gay character. Sure, he was fictional, but I don’t think the struggles that were presented in the book were. Homosexuality has always gone hand-in-hand with discrimination, and the book dealt with this topic honestly. Realistically. And that’s what I wanted to know more about.

(Last aside: I’m not limiting myself to this book to get to know more about the homosexual lifestyle. That’s just another way of stereotyping, isn’t it? I’m also talking with people, with friends, and watching films that deal with the topic.)

The God Box really does a great job of presenting the homosexual lifestyle in a religious context. It presents the confusion, the acceptance, and the fear, with great care and respect. It does a great job at presenting to a straight audience the challenges of being gay without asking for sympathy, nor does it take a high morale ground.

I really have to commend author Alex Sanchez at how he handled the topic.

I didn’t care to find out what the author’s sexual orientation is. I don’t think it should have any bearing on the final product. If Mr. Sanchez turns out to be gay, then I applaud him for not being one who makes out his characters as victims. If he’s straight, then I applaud him even more for presenting realistic characters with realistic fears.

I especially like how the main character didn’t get his questions answered in black and white. He reached a conclusion on his own. He made his decisions. And then he lived with them.

Really, The God Box is a very good novel.

Of course, you shouldn’t take just my word for it:
Guys Lit Wire
Helen’s Book Blog
The Black Sheep

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