Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan

Published: March 1, 2011 by Scholastic Press
Received: Good Golly Miss Holly (ARC) Tour

Judy and Kyle Renneker are sixteen-year-old fraternal twins in a rambling family of nine. They have a prickly history with each other and are, at least from Judy's perspective, constantly in fierce competition. Kyle has recently come out of the closet to his family and feels he might never know what it's like to date a guy. Judy, who has a history of pretending to be something she isn't in order to get what she wants, is pretending to be born-again in order to land a boyfriend who heads his own bible study.

When their parents announce that the family is going to be taking in a fellow student for a month so that he can finish the school year before moving away, both Kyle and Judy can't help but sit up and take notice. Garret Johnson, who is taking temporary residence in the newly finished attic, is a young man who moved into town less than a year ago and who is a mysterious, goth loner . . . and claims to be a vampire. He's not an easy person to get to know by any means, but the twins find him (to varying degrees) both strange and alluring.

GEMINI BITES explores what it means to pretend to be something you aren't, what happens when that backfires, and how in-your-face honesty is almost always the best course of action. {taken from}

I want to let my readers know from the beginning that this review will be written from an honest point of view, as are all my book reviews. It is some times difficult for me to write reviews for books that I do not enjoy reading, but I feel as though this book deserves honesty & so that is what I am going to write.

Gemini Bites is the story about 16 year old twins, Kyle & Judy.  They are among several brothers & sisters, all living together under one roof with their parents, who have just recently gotten back together due to struggles of their own.  The story is told in alternating view points between Kyle & Judy, so that the reader is given a more open point of view of what is really happening.  Kyle has just recently come out to his family about his homosexuality.  His family does not seem surprised by this news, in fact they are very much supportive of it.  Judy has become a born again Christian, but only because there's a hot boy who holds bible study groups at his house & she wants to partake in more than just the bible with him.  The two teenagers are at ends with one another.  Since their parents briefly split up & just gotten back together, Judy & Kyle have not had a very positive relationship towards one another.  Judy is always making snide comments to Kyle about his sexuality, & Kyle is forever getting on Judy's nerves.  The two can hardly stand to be in the same room together.  This all changes when a new face shows up to live in their home temporarily, Garret.  His parents are moving away for the remainder of the school year & asked Kyle & Judy's parents to look after him until graduation.  Garret, and his mysterious self take residency in the family's attic.  Immediately Kyle takes an interest in him.  And immediately it is Judy who wants what Kyle wants.  Everything becomes a competition between the two of them.

This is where the story takes on an odd form for me.  Garret claims to be a vampire.  Now one might ask, is this a paranormal book?  No.  It's a confused teenager who calls other people mortals & pretends to suck blood from their necks.  Weird, you might ask?  Yes. Very.  You'll find out later in the story that was foreshadowing for Garret's character.  It makes sense then, sort of, but through out the story it just leaves moments very awkward & confusing.  The other parts of this book that left me a bit uncomfortable were the sexual moments. I understand that the author was describing what so many other teenagers experience at that age, but this being the first book that I've read about two males experiencing such acts, it caught me by surprise.  I do not typically read this sort of thing, so beware if you don't either.. because it's mentioned, quite a few times. 

I could see the potential of Kyle & Judy's relationship, but it just fell very flat for me.  One minute they hate each others guts, saying very hurtful things (mainly on Judy's part) & then all of a sudden a light bulb goes off & they are best friends.  I have siblings, and I know that it's much more than that.  From my understanding, the author was trying to express the message of honesty & being true to who you are.  Judy was constantly becoming someone else & taking on a different identity so that boys would like her.  Garret was obviously not a vampire, but used that as a decoy to keep people at arm's length.  The concepts for this story line were there, but they just didn't give me enough to hold on to.  The humor is what kept me reading, though.  I appreciated the witty banter that Judy's character threw out at people, even if it was a bit mean.  Unfortunately, I did not care for this book.  But like I said in the beginning, I promised to give an honest review & I hope that is what has come across.



  1. Hmmm from reading the synopsis I don't know what to make of it. It sounds quite peculiar really, thanks for being honest.

  2. Hey, sometimes you just don't like a book, and the point of reviewing is honesty. I think you did a great job of explaining your reasons, rather than just tearing the book apart. Great review, G :)

  3. I think you did a wonderful job of being fair but honest - not everyone can like every book they read!

  4. I'm going to be reading this one for Holly's tour too and I'm really looking forward to it! It's to bad you didn't like it, but I appreciate your honesty! Hopefully I'll enjoy it a bit more.

  5. I agree with Tara, not everyone can enjoy all the books they read. It happens to us a lot.

    I enjoyed reading your honest review.

  6. The plot sounded great until the word 'vampire' showed up in the summary.

    Great honest review =)


  7. I think it was a well written and honest review. I agree with everyone else... you cannot love every book that you read. Occasionally, there will be one that just wasn't your cup of tea, and as a book blogger it's your job to be fair and honest. I think you did an excellent job :)

  8. Did you not enjoy it just because of the fact that there are gay/bisexual teens? If so, that's pretty sad...

    If not, ignore this comment! Love your blog! Xx, Brent

  9. Sounds a little weird. The blurb doesn't really interest me, and your review makes me think this will probably be a good one to pass on. Thanks! :)

  10. Newest follower here via the Friday blog hop. I am a new contemporary romance writer and a reader of almost anything! Hope you stop by my blog and check it out.

    PS I'm also a elementary school Reading Specialist


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