Herren, Greg, “Sleeping Angel”, Bold Strokes Books, 2011.
Herren Writes Young Adult Novel
I always look forward to books by Greg Herren and I have been for several years. Now Herren ventures into young adult literature and he succeeds brilliantly,
ERIC Matthews has had an accident and when he wakes up; he finds himself in a hospital room and has no memory of how he got there. He soon understands that he can make sense of nothing and there is no one to tell him what happened. He had been in a car accident in which a classmate, Sean Brody was found shot to death in the very car. Eric cannot understand any of it and especially since he and Sean were not really friends and in fact they did not like each other at all. While Sean was gay and out, Eric was still exploring and not sure.
This is our mystery—who killed Sean and why and what was he doing with Eric? Eric has no memory at all of what happened and to make matters even more interesting, he begins to have psychic flashes about the people who are around him. As time passes and Eric regains memory, he becomes more certain how important it is that he remembers what happened.
What is important here is that this is a book for younger readers who are dealing with their sexualities. Sure there is confusion like with Eric and that is natural. Self-acceptance is such an important part of understanding and we see that here. Herren gives us real characters in real situations dealing with real issues and it is through them that we can come to terms with ourselves.
I was drawn in from the first sentence but Herren does that to me in all of his books. He leaves us room for though while giving us a canvas that is partially finished and we are to complete it. In the end everything falls into place and again we see that self-acceptance is the only way to become accepted and in fact, survive. Not only is the book well written, it is so important and we certainly need more books like this. Quite simply it shows that “it does get better” but only when we allow it to.