The state of us

Shaun David Hutchinson

Book - 2020

"Dean and Dre, the seventeen-year-old sons of the Republican and Democratic candidates for president of the United States, fall in love on the sidelines of their parents' presidential campaigns"--

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Hutchins Shaun Checked In
Young adult fiction
New York : HarperTeen [2020]
First edition
Physical Description
406 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 13 up.
Grades 10-12.
Main Author
Shaun David Hutchinson (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Dre is the gay, out-and-proud, Mexican American son of the Democratic Party's presidential nominee; Dean is the Republican candidate's questioning, demisexual son who everyone assumes fits the conservative mold embodied by his mother. When the teens meet on their parents' clashing campaign trails, sparks fly, and as their unexpected connection develops, they conspire to continue exploring their relationship in secret, even as the election is thrown into chaos by Jackson McMann, an independent tech billionaire whose upstart candidacy surges on a platform of hatred and fear. In this brilliantly conceived high-concept romance, chapters alternate between the equally sympathetic first-person perspectives of Dre and Dean, presenting the opposed politics of America's two-party system through the relatively innocent children of the party leaders. While the two star-crossed teens eloquently challenge each other's preconceived notions, they explore their growing attraction alongside their own beliefs and identities--and the inherent contradictions therein. While the joyful love story is front and center, Hutchinson's (Brave Face, 2019) deft handling of his characters provides a perfect--and surprisingly subtle--vehicle for relating the inner journeys of queer and questioning teens, most notably Dean's exploration of his place on the asexual spectrum. Charming, humorous, nicely paced, and never dull, this timely romance will appeal beyond its genre--a must for all collections.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Andre "Dre" Rosario and Dean Arnault have one big thing in common--a parent running for U.S. president--but, at first glance, little else. Mexican-American Dre, a Democrat, is gay and out, and his dad rose to prominence defending asylum seekers. Buttoned-up Dean is white, on the asexual spectrum, and closeted, and his Republican mother wants trans soldiers banned from the military. But since no one else understands the pressures they're under, that's what brings them together, the two 17-year-olds soon finding that they more they talk, the closer they get. Which doesn't mean it's easy: Dre has problems with Dean's mother's politics, and Dean doesn't know how his perfectionist mother would handle knowing who he really is, from his sexuality to his career goals. Things get more complex when the third-party candidate, a cartoonishly sleazy businessman known "for exploiting anyone and everything he could," tries to make them a campaign issue. Though Dean's diction veers from believably formal to somewhat robotic, Hutchinson (Brave Face) creates two likable characters in a love-against-the-odds story that effectively takes up the well-timed issue of how to love people whose beliefs one doesn't share--whether they're parents or prospective partners. Ages 13--up. Agent: Katie Shea Boutillier, Donald Maass Literary. (June)

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