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Summary

Star football player Jack Miller had it all. The perfect family, looks, girls hanging on his every word, and the respect of most people in his town. But one thing was missing - a man to be his own.

When Andrew Collins showed up in small-town, conservative Sweet, Georgia, he looked more scrawny mutt than high school senior. Andrew's plan was to keep his head down and graduate high school, leaving his family behind to start his real life.

When he meets Andrew, Jack thinks he's found heaven, but reality holds him in check until one night when his lips gently slide across Andrew's and fireworks go off.

As lust and something a little deeper brings them together, compelling them to take chances, people start to notice. Then the unthinkable happens, and Jack's parents find out he likes guys. The battle lines are drawn and they vow to pray the gay away.

©2014 Sara York (P)2014 Sara York

What listeners say about Pray the Gay Away

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

as good as the ebook

The story is always full stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook. I can't listen to an audiobook without knowing the book, that's not possible for me.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. It took me a little bit, to come into the narrator, but at the end, it worked. I only have to take a few breaks between. I'm just not yet finish with the book, I’m over the half, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening.
it's like a B

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Loved it!

Any additional comments?

This book was recommended to me by my sister and i'm glad she did. Sara York takes on two of societies sensitive and conflicting subjects. This book reinforces my belief that homosexuality is not a choice but is innate. Why would anyone choose to be abused, controlled in the ways this book portrays. I almost forgot this book was fiction as this story is so powerful. Jack and Andrew are truly in love and yet have to keep their love hidden from everyone. Jacks father is the most hippo-critical minister who physically abuses his son whilst Andrews parents choose to control their sons sexuality by food deprivation.

The lines between fiction and the true reality of life are blurred in such a powerful and disturbing way throughout this book. Jason Frazier has done an excellent job narrating this book, he portrayed Billy, a seven year old and obviously gay young boy extremely well.

The only negative, being that as i am blind using audible books is my only way of reading novels and after listening to the first part of this trilogy i was dismayed to discover the other two installments are not available on audio as of yet......If i had known this i wouldn't have purchased this title as it has left me frustrated as the first installment is a truly great piece of writing yet it seems i may never get to experience these characters full journey.

Where is my happy ending????

Michelle Stratford.

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Profile Image for John Chapman
  • John Chapman
  • 25-06-14

Gay raised in the south & religous homes must read

Would you consider the audio edition of Pray the Gay Away to be better than the print version?

I personal grew up in the South and my father was a Baptist minister. Sara York understands the unspoken rule that a Southern ministers family must portray the "image of perfection". The second rule is that "parents are always right" and "children are always wrong". Southern culture often places ministers and their families as examples of the "perfect family". Therefore, if you are gay then you must lie or die but never shame the family by telling the truth. That is what this book is about. I personally know how accurate her image is of a Southern ministers family is because I grew-up in such a family. It is what all gay youth should never face.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pray the Gay Away?

The accurate depicting of what an ultra religious ministers family.

Which character – as performed by Jason Frazier – was your favorite?

Jason Frazier ability to switch voice between adult and child stimulates the emotional power of this performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The last two chapter bought me to tears and anger. The level of intensity caused my to yell out "hit the basted and fight back". However, It very hard to fight back when you think your actions have the power to destroy those that you love.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tammy
  • 27-06-15

Heartbreaking and Beautiful tale of young love.

Would you consider the audio edition of Pray the Gay Away to be better than the print version?

I don't know, I've only listened.

What did you like best about this story?

Billy! I cannot wait to listen to his story. When Frazier spoke those words that York so beautifully wrote, "I don't think God made me right." I literally died! I had to stop and walk away from the story for a few days, it just broke my heart. It endeared me to the character though, and I'm excited to see where Billy's journey takes him.

What does Jason Frazier bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The youth of the characters. His voice is vibrant and exciting when needed, and then it's defeated and broken down as well. I loved the voice he gave these characters.

If you could take any character from Pray the Gay Away out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Billy!

Any additional comments?

Anyone on the outside looking in would think that Jack Miller has the picture perfect life. Star football player, well behaved son of the local Preacher and a ton of great friends. If you looked through the well-hidden cracks in the surface, you would see the truth. Jack is miserable trying to be someone he is not, his father is the very definition of the word hypocrite, his family is a stone’s throw away from falling apart, and all those friends that gather around him, they are only there because of Jack’s status.

Andrew Collins and his parents move to Jack’s small town in an effort to escape the scandal in their last town when Andrew was caught kissing another young man. His parents are emotionally distant, controlling and verbally abusive at best. When the Preacher at their new church suggests that his son Jack be a shoulder for Andrew to lean on while he adjusts to life in the new town, no one could know the ramifications of the two young men becoming friends.

When two kindred spirits unite they will recognize each other straight away. That is what happens with Jack and Andrew. They fall hard and fast and do the best they can to keep their budding romance a secret from everyone. When their parents learn the truth behind their relationship the results are both volatile and disturbing.

I will start by saying this story is very dark, dramatic, angsty and deep. But there is also love and understanding between the two young men that lead the story. Jack knows he is gay but he hides his sexuality from everyone for fear of how they will react. Besides, he is the star quarterback and the Preachers eldest son, a certain appearance is expected of him, one that does not include an attraction to the same sex. Andrew got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and his life has been a living hell ever since. His parents use demeaning tactics like fasting and starvation to ensure their son walks the line, or at least their line that is. So while the way these two young men were treated by their own parents, the people that are supposed to love them unconditionally, made my blood boil; I have to give York credit for making their time together something beautiful and intriguing. Jack and Andrew are both very young and inexperienced. York captures that youth, inexperience and vulnerability perfectly in the story and its equal parts endearing and heart breaking.

Narrated by Jason Frazier and I really enjoyed how his voice was as young as the characters were. He really captured that jock persona for Jack while keeping true to the awkward and unsteady aspect of Andrew. I felt like he completely immersed himself in these characters so I had a feel and vision of what they would be like we’re I to meet them in real life. And oh my word, Jack’s father, between York’s creation of this monster on paper and Frazier bringing this vile human being to life, he literally made me sick. By the end of the story I just wanted to climb into my I-pod and strangle him with my bare hands, then grab Jack and Andrew and hug them until they passed out.

While the story is difficult at times to listen to, it’s so well written and conveyed, I have to list it as a must read. I love when an author can take on controversial subjects, like a small Georgia town stuck in the middle ages and a hypocritical minister and tell them in such a way that I am engaged throughout. I was born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia, so I know first-hand that what York wrote in this story is sadly true to fact more often than not. Add to that Frazier’s narration that chronicled this journey for Jack and Andrew with such emotions as awe, shock, concern and love and I don’t see how you could pass this one up.

Be warned if you have triggers… this story contains scenes of violence. But there is also love and compassion thrown in the mix.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lord_Theoden
  • 03-11-16

Be prepared to get the second book.

first off the narrator did a magnificent job however, the story although good just ended abruptly the author could have did a better job with the cutoff point it was almost like the book stopped in the middle of a conversation. I will continue the series I found it rather interesting I have found myself living with overly zealous people at one point and some of the things the parents said and did I personally went through myself.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JC
  • 31-01-15

Story was okay but the narrator was excellent.

Some parts of this story were painful to listen to. Andrew and Jack's parents were so over-the-top homophobic and hiding their disgusting viewpoints under the banner of religion that I wished I could reach into this story and smack them all. Jason Frazier's narration added emotion to what would otherwise have just been a typical abused gay teenagers story, transforming what would otherwise have been a boring read into something I'll probably listen to again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Riva
  • 13-08-14

Romeo and Romeo

This is the 1st book of a trilogy which appears to me to be inspired by Romeo and Juliet; complete with overly emo teenagers being dramatic. Once I figured that out, the MCs actions and dialogue made a lot more sense. This is the story of two “star crossed gay teenagers” living in a small town in Georgia with 3 of the 4 parents as homophobic bigots. They fall in love almost instantly and profess it to each other frequently. The dialogue is a bit stilted and not at all the way teenagers talk, but if fits with the Shakespearean couple this romance is based upon. It is really sweet and I really felt for these boys and all they have to go through.

What I also like about this story is that it is not anti-God or even anti-religion. Both MCs believe in God and pray regularly. However, the "man of god" in this story claims to be Christian but has no problem threatening his kids with death; it is that kind of crazy. There are some twists, turns and kink in their story which in a way takes away from the struggle. Although I did like the weaving in of a transgender seven year old sibling, that was unique and touching.

The narrator does a great job and his voice is perfect for these two boys. He really puts the right amount of emotion in the storytelling. All that said, yes there are some illogical leaps and assumptions in the story. Such as the way Child Protective Services is portrayed. These two are 18 in the book, although their maturity level appears more like 16. Generally CPS are not involved with 18 year old. But I had to look past that and go with the romance and struggle and I really enjoyed getting wrapped up into this story.

In reading the blurbs for the next two books (which are not on audio yet) I think I’m going to have to buy the written book. There appears to be mucho drama down the road for these two. Definitely worth a credit if you are going to continue the series as this book ends on a cliffhanger.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Debs
  • 12-08-14

good...but

It was a good story, i liked it and the narrator was really good. The ending was quite abrupt. it just like ended randomly. hopefully its going to be a serial, the readers should be warned so we know what to expect.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • moxo
  • 15-08-21

Excellent

I read this book quite a few years ago and loved it. Listening to it just brought it alive. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the narration was spot on.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Queen of Halloween
  • 27-10-20

Not For Me

I gave this book a chance because the narrator is one of my favorites. I don't like the authors writing style and while I can appreciate the hardships of the characters, this book is sad.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vania
  • 20-09-20

A pleasant surprise.

So… I was sort of afraid, before starting this book, that it would wreck me…
This is probably still going to happen later on the series, but for now the book is super sweet, wiith these two sweet, young, sheltered boys just testing the waters and starting out their relationship with the need to keep it hidden from everyone, especially their super-religious, super-strict families.
Another emotion I am feeling is extreme anger: I really don’t understand how any parent can treat their kids that badly and not love them unconditionally.
On to the next book now, to see where lives takes Jack and Andrew…
I enjoyed Jason Frazier's narration, even though, as a non-native English speaker I had to slow it down a bit to be sure to get everything. And the fact that there was barely any time between chapters and the chepter number wasn't spelled out kind of threw me for a loop...

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • minniemeggie
  • 13-08-20

Uh... pacing? build up? Not here.

I wanted to like this story. I really tried to like the this story. But... I just couldn't. I DNF this one a couple hours in. The thing is I really liked the actual meat and bones of this story and if the author had put weeks or heck even days between events I probably would have been all over it. The events happen right after another immediately after our boys meet. I don't mind insta-love but this was just ridiculous given the circumstances.

Both boys are terrified of being discovered and our jock has been careful to not even LOOK at other boys and then all of a sudden Andrew pops into town and three days in they are boyfriends and planning a future together? UM WHAT?! Give me some time to pine! Also Jack thrusting Andrew into the spotlight and all around attitude really pissed me off, sure its to 'protect him' but he met the kid the day before! not even 24 hours past and he's throwing his crush into the limelight and convincing the school to 'look out for him' I mean wtf?!

I think the only reason I lasted so long was because of Jason Frazier's narration. As always he does a magnificent job portraying these characters.

I don't mean to harp on this story, I may even go back and finish it someday and just pretend its been a couple months instead of 3 days because like I said, I really enjoy the meat of the story, the pacing and timing just feels really rushed for me.