Book 1 - Sam Dorsey and His Sixteen Candles
Sam never liked his birthdays because not a single one of them was happy. When he turned one, he fell face-down into his birthday cake. When he turned five, he broke his left arm When he turned seven, he broke his right arm and his left leg. When he turned 12, his house caught fire. Now Sam is about to turn 16 and he is dreading the day. The only birthday wish he has is for Jake who is the Mr. Popular of Arcadia High to even acknowledge his existence, or better yet give him a happy-birthday kiss.
But Sam knows that it's not going to happen. Or is it?
Book 2 - Sam Dorsey and His Dirty Dancing
Sam is turning 17 this year and he is being pushed towards adulthood too fast. He has a whole bunch of grown-up problems on his hands now. Like how to make a distant relationship with your boyfriend work? Or how to stop yourself from cheating on your boyfriend with a hot friend who wants to be more than friends? Or how to detach yourself from your parents and follow your dreams independently? But all that is just too much for a 17-year-old to handle. So Sam finds himself gravitating towards Eric, a little daredevil who introduces him to fun things, like stealing, lying, drinking, smoking, and having sex.
But we know that things like that can lead you into trouble. Sam doesn't know about that though, and he is headed towards a disaster. Somebody is just going to have to show him the right way.
©2014 Perie Wolford (P)2015 Perie Wolford
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"Awwwwwwww. Great for a light summer smile."
I think the narrator - and I also just thought the entire thing was just kind of light and sweet. It's kind of like getting to have a gay teen get to be the lead in Clueless or Legally Blonde or one of those fun 'popcorn' flicks that are just a fun, relaxing, guilty pleasure.
Sam - he's endearing but totally clueless. I think that almost every gay guy wishes they'd had something fun like this to read when they were a teen - and certainly wished they'd been in the marvelous Hollywood dream-tastic alternate reality of having two hot high school guys making his head spin. Molly Ringwald gets the gay spin - it's fun.
I think it's the end of the second book.... you totally kind of see what's going to end up happening - but when I read it I actually teared up a little bit. For everybody who's a romantic it just kind of makes you want so bad to have had that when you were Sam's age.
Sam needs to come out of his shell... But his birthdays are always a major blow out... and we don't mean the candles.
"Endearing teen angst with cute pop culture mashup"
"Endearing gay teen pop-culture mash up fun."
I really thought this was so charming. If you have ever seen "Beautiful Thing" it's kind of an American spin on that feel... Taking mainstream teen romance and giving the gays a chance to share in that warm and fuzzy, teen-angst, growing pain fun. Using popular pop-culture movies as a kind of loose springboard the author throws our (delightfully clueless) hero, Sam, into a kind of John Hughes set of storylines that pay homage to the movies we loved growing up - but letting gay kids take the role of the hero. I think it was really cool to have a teen story that was fresh, lighthearted, likable and really put a gay kid into a mainstream kind of romantic high school storyline. There is the typical teen fixation with sex - but nothing lewd... or hardcore in the least. If I knew a gay seventeen or eighteen year old I would love to give them this book - I think they would feel it gave them a voice and would be a great way to tell them 'you're ok'. Not to say that adults wouldn't find it charming too... The narration is great... it's practically a full-length monologue (all first person) and the narrator is totally engaging, youthful, funny and brings the other characters to life. I really enjoyed these two installments and think it will be fun to see what the author does as the character grows up. If you ever read Adrian Mole - imagine a gay version and you'll know exactly the kind of lighthearted read to expect.
"Amazing John-Hughes-inspired story"
Absolutely. I read all the books in the series and now I was very happy to listen to them in audio. I just love Sam and his adventures. Waiting for the 3rd book now to come in audio.
I guess Mitch, because he is just adorable, a perfect boyfriend. Although in the second book I kinda started liking Jake as well.
Nope, first time listening to this narrator. His performance was okay, but his voice got a little raspy in certain parts which made him sound older, not a teenager. It was a little distracting because I experienced a disassosiation with the mental picture I had in mind. But he was okay and made me giggle a few times.
I did listen to each book in one sitting, together it took me 2 days to listen through.
"An adorable series with a wink of nostalgia."
I loved it. I think the narration is great - it's all first person, and the narrator is very, very funny and really performs the piece. He makes Sam awkward, smart, witty and adorably clueless all at the same time. The book works really well in audio form.
Not sure about other books - but it has a kind of gay "Summer of 42" vibe, or "Edge of Seventeen"... it's a great coming of age story - filled with humor and moments. It was really cool to take the classic John Hughes 80's teen-romance genre and appropriate it for a gay audience. I think this book would be so refreshing for teens who were just out of the closet - but it's also a really fun and enjoyable light read for adults.
Yes - he's very versatile. I like his work on Foxe Tails as well. He really performs the book... definitely and actor/narrator - rather than a straight, detached read. Some people might not like it - but for me it really brings the characters to life. It's like listening to a radio play.
Actually several gave me the 'awwwwwww' factor. I think that Woolford writes really likable characters who aren't perfect in every way. Sam is sometimes a hot-mess, and I kind of love that about him.
Try out the series - it's a light, engaging read when you're looking for something fun and a little escape. :)
"Adorable and Sweet"
Imagine a feel good chick flick - but about a gay teen. I really enjoyed both of these books - Wolford writes delightful characters (Mitch is sooo sweet) and the lead characters goofy awkwardness is hilarious and endearing. The narration really pulls you in to the characters - I laughed out loud several times. There is some light sexual material, but nothing hardcore - the emphasis is on the characters and story. Characters really grow through the two books and you find yourself almost as torn as Sam trying to figure out which guy should win his heart. There is a fun pop-culture wink to 'rite of passage' cult films that serve as the inspiration for each story... but it adds to the fun. It's certainly not a rip off - these characters are all original and engaging in their own right. Great for young adult audiences and will give adults a lovely smile-inducing couple hours of escapist reading.
"Super cute feel-good fun."
I really liked the narrator. The entire book is in the first person and he does a great job of capturing Sam's wry personality, indecision and adorkable cluelessness. He draws you into the story and the characters.
It would be pretty tough not love Mitch... but I can see why Sam has a pretty tough time choosing... we should all have such problems.
Great humor, personality and an endearing vulnerability. I look forward to more in the series, hopefully with him as the narrator.
Light, fun and heartwarming.
this one is on my top 10, a fresh and fun read, too short laves me wanting more.
mitch, i love how he is and how is acts towards sam so lovable.
not really, but i look foward to it.
i laughed a lot, this was so fun, i also cried, there was some parts that were really touching.
"Not Sure How I feel about it."
The story is cute in a gay-by-John-Hughesy kind of way, but I feel like it was a bit heavy on the sexuality for a YA Fiction book. I understand how it works in the mind of a teenager (I was one once), but I think it's a bit much.
The best part of it was the way the book was written, in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way. I enjoyed that, and the way things are worded and written I related to very well.
No. No one needs to stagger their. words.... That. much.
No. Its fine as a standalone.
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