Ryan, Patrick. Gemini Bites. Scholastic Press, 2011. 231 pages. ISBN 978-0-545-22128-3
Kyle and Judy are twins, who do not get along. Judy is always trying to win against Kyle. It is a large household and takes a lot to get some attention. Kyle has just told his family he is gay. To his relief, the family accepts it and moments later are distracted. Not to be one-upped by Kyle, a few days later Judy tells her family she is born-again and has found God. However, she is met with the same reaction that Kyle got. Later, over dinner, their father tells everyone that they are having a mysterious guest stay with them until the end of the school year. The mysterious guest is a boy, Garret Johnson, from Kyle and Judy’s class, but nobody knows much about him. Kyle gains information from a fellow student who says Garret is a vampire. After moving in, Garret plays on the whole vampire thing saying he really is one and gradually he starts to take an interest in both Kyle and Judy. Both intrigued by this, they start to compete for his affections.
Gemini Bites is a delightful story of sixteen-year-old twins of a family of nine, Judy and Kyle, tend to compete over anything and everything. Kyle is gay, but Judy is born-again. And their newest competition, Garret Johnson, is…a vampire? After moving into their attic, claiming to be a vampire, Garret starts to take an interest in both Judy and Kyle. They can’t figure out whether he is gay, straight, into twins, or if he really is a vampire, but they compete for him anyhow. This book is written so that every chapter alternates between Kyle and Judy in the first person. All of the characters in this book have their own unique personalities that make them easy to remember. Teenagers will have an easy time relating to the language. This is a wonderful story with a twist at the end that may just surprise you. Covering a variety of problems teens may face in real life, this book illustrates how you may get through them.
A mysterious character takes up residence in Kyle and Judy’s home claiming to be a vampire, all the while leading them both on. Gay, straight, twinsexual, or vampire? Which one is Garret Johnson?
Patrick Ryan was born in Washington, D.C., in 1965 and he grew up in Florida. He got his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his Master of Fine Arts from the Writing Program at Bowling Green State University in 1990. He wrote short story for about 10 years before his first publication. His stories have been published in many journals including Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Nebraska Review, One Story, Ontario Review, and The Yale Review.
He also writes under the name P.E. Ryan on occasion. His first novel was Send Me, a book for adults that takes a look at three decades in the life of a dysfunctional family. His previous novel, In Mike We Trust, 2009, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult literature, and was named by Booklist to its Rainbow List in 2010.
Gay, Straight, or Vampire?
Reading Level/Interest Level:
Potential gay relationship issues, but I don’t think libraries have anything to worry about putting this book on their shelves.
Why I include this book:
I had a 17 year old recommend it to me when I told her I was looking for materials on GLBT.