A gay teenage Mormon growing up in western Oregon in 2003. His straight best friend. Their parents. A typical LDS ward, a high-school club about tolerance for gays, and a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. In NO GOING BACK, these elements combine in a coming-of-age story about faithfulness and friendship, temptation and redemption, tough choices and conflicting loyalties.
My Thoughts: I was very hesitant to read this book when the author first asked me as it really isn't the kind of book I read a lot. I am so glad I took the chance! This was an emotional book! My heart broke for Paul so many times as he put up with hate for being gay, for being Mormon, for being both. After Paul tells his best friend, Chad, that he is gay, Chad is angry and stays away from Paul. I hurt for him whilel he tried to find his way without his best friend for a litttle while.
I really liked how the story was told in different views. I really enjoyed reading it from Paul's point of view but my favorite was reading from the Bishop's point of view. His point of view was obviously more grown up and flowed better but Paul's point of view telling was also very direct and honest. It was very real-to-life for a teenage boy.
My only complaint was that I didn't really like Sandy's (the Bishop's wife) little sub-story. I felt that it was not at all necessary and just added to bogging down Paul's story a little. The book could have totally gotten rid of that part and it would have been great.
I am not Mormon myself (although I have a lot of Mormon friends) but I did not feel that this in any way made a difference. I do not know a lot about the Mormon religion but didn't find anything to be confusing or hard to read however I cannot say how accurately it portray the Mormon religion. I do think anyone could pick up this book and learn from it. It was a very direct and honest view of how people treat others who we deem "different".
I think this is a book every adult should read. It is not an easy read or even a fast read but a very emotional and honest read.