Cut Both Ways
Author: Carrie Mesrobian
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: September 1 2015
Review Source: HarperCollins
Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.
Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?
Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.
Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Will has a tough life, living with divorced parents; his mother has created a second family while his dad has been stuck in one gear ever since his marriage fell apart. Will hates being in the middle but he deals with it. One night his best friend makes a move on him, and he likes it. The problem is his best friend happens to be male too. Unsure what this means he then meets Brandy thus a relationship forms. Dealing with this in the best way he can starts to make him feel pulled from 4 different corners of his life; his dad, his mom, Brandy and Angus.
I feel that this book would be considered very, very, very controversial. Will is a teenage boy getting ready to graduate from high school when he realizes that there is a chance that he could be gay, but then he starts a relationship with a girl and likes it just as much as his relationship with his best friend. Right off the bat I felt as though my heart would break either way he went, the whole book has readers knowing he has to make a decision and you're worried who he'll pick. You want him with Brandy because she's a sweet girl, but you want him with Angus because their feelings are pure.
I feel that this is controversial because so many people put negative emotions with those who are gay - this book deals with that. Part of Will doesn't want to be gay because he knows how people will treat him. I have known people who have had to deal with this, and I know what it does to a person. While dealing with this Will also has to deal with a broken home.
Driving back and forth between two homes is difficult, especially when you're school is closer to one of the houses. Meaning when you're at the house farthest away you still have to drive to get to school. You can't split your time between 2 different schools, it just doesn't work that way. Not having dealt with a divorce before I never would have known the hardships. And not only does he deal with this, but he deals with his parents' constant back and forth of who has the upper hand as the parent. There were times when I was stressed out for Will, and wanted him to just go to a friend's house.
I feel like this book changed my outlook on things - in the author's notes about the book she states that you never know a person sexual orientation by their relationships. Will was publicly with Brandy, but on the sly was with Angus too. There are many things that are brought to the reader's attention, that usually wouldn't be thought about.