When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
For a book written 20 years ago, this has held up pretty well: the AIDS scare won't necessarily resonate with today's teens, but the difficulty of coming out and exploring your first honest relationships will. As the introduction says, things have changed in some ways but not for every person, in every family, in every town.
It was interesting that the author chose to make Riley a rugby star - in many ways they play a rougher game than American football, so this is clearly a boy who is not effeminate and enjoys manly sports. Despite that, he's insecure about who he is and worries that he comes across as gay to his friends and family. The problems of coming out, family and friends reactions, meeting a gay support community, etc. will seem familiar to most regular readers of LGBTQ fiction, which accounts for my 3-star review (although had I read this when it first came out it would have seemed new and fresh).
ARC provided by publisher.