Review: Wet Paint by Will Parkinson

My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I haven’t read YA in a very long while, or been this young for quite a while, and the author’s excellent prose vividly recalls the inner turmoil of the teenager—the oversensitivity, the yearning to do the right thing, and the strain of becoming a person, an adult, while yet being under the influence of parents and older adults. The author portrays sensitively the world of the gay teenager, the angst, the loneliness, the fear. I highly recommend this book to any young person struggling to find themselves and their path in the world.

I couldn’t help but be reminded that there were no coming of age books for gay teenagers back in the day. Or that LGBTQ people were portrayed in books and media as perverted and abnormal then. High school and college was a time of great torment and sorrow for my friends who came out, or didn’t.

I was very moved by “Pitch” and “Wet Paint”; it also contains themes of overcoming and surviving abuse, and the aftermath of bullying, and moving on.

In “Pitch,” Benny is Taylor’s supportive friend, but he is a major character in “Wet Paint.” Addy, too, their friend from camp who they helped get through abuse issues. Now Addy and Benny have both returned to camp as counselors, determined to help young Liam. Liam does not make it easy for them, trying to come between their burgeoning relationship with sexy talk, blatant behavior, and manipulations. That’s only the beginning of the tests for these two young people.

I did find this novel darker than the first, if that’s possible. Taylor and Jackson went through hell to have their happy ending in “Pitch.” So will Benny and Addy.

I’m glad this book and others like it are out there now. I highly recommend both “Pitch” and “Wet Paint.” Everyone deserves a happy ending, but we have to fight for it.






















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