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Spin Me Right Round | David Valdes | Book Review

As I was reading Spin Me Right Round, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a gay twist on the classic movie trilogy Back to the Future. In present day, Luis is openly gay in an environment that may be progressive but not always fully accepting. The majority reason for this stems from an incident that happened from his mom’s prom, where a gay classmate was found dead. When Luis suddenly finds himself sent back in time to when his mom was in high school, he realizes that he has the opportunity to make a change that could positively affect his future. He immediately befriends Chaz, who is not openly gay at this time, and works to help him understand that it is okay to be who he really is.

Set in the 80’s , this book is quirky and full of moments that make you laugh as well as think. Having a millennial sent back to a different era really demonstrated the differences between now and then. From the clothing, the music, and other pop culture references, there are alot of differences, and Luis finds himself struggling to blend into his new environment. The other teenagers from the earlier era view Luis as a complete wierdo and instead of trying to blend in, he does everything he can to stand out. In the present, this is more accepted but in 1980’s conservative religious school, it most definitely is not. And for some reason he just keeps trying to push the envelope disregarding the danger he is putting himself and Chaz in.

This was likely the most frustrating thing that was never fully resolved. Luis is just so full of himself. He believes he is he only one with answers. Especially when it comes to “helping” Chaz. The whole time, Luis feels his purpose is based around changing the past to better his own future. Like I said, he can tell that his actions may be causing problems for Chaz and he just doesn’t stop. He is a very selfish character.

Although I felt like Spin Me Right Round was a bit of a gay Back to the Future, for me the movie wins out. It is a classic, and when all is finished, this book attempts to create a more modern version it falls flat. Yes, it is full of diverse characters, and there is are moments that will make you pause but sadly alot of it is just cringe. Teenagers can be inherently selfish and usually I can work with it but, Luis really rubbed me the wrong way. The lack of accountability for his actions did too. Like I said there were brief moments where I was able tgo pause and think – usually surrounding Chaz being bullied – but, outside of that and some moments of popular culture, sadly not much worked for me in this story.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

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