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Sexy by Joyce Carol Oates

By Pamelascott

.... The thing with Mr. Tracy, Darren's English teacher.

The thing that was vague and not-named.

The thing that hadn't happened anyway.

(Had it?)

North Falls swim team member Darren Flynn is a guy's guy, a jock. He 'shows promise' and has integrity in the classroom - just as his teachers. He's shy, but sexy. Just ask the girls who are drawn to him like moths to a flame.

Darren Flynn is something different to everyone he encounters, and that's fine by him. Until something disturbing, some ambiguous happens that rocks Darren to the core, making him wonder: Who is Darren Flynn?


[Soon as he turned sixteen, put on weight and began to get attention for his looks, things began to turn weird]

(HarperTempest, 1 January 2006, 288 pages, paperback, bought from Amazon)


Sexy is a fantastic book. JCO's YA fiction is just as compelling and well-written as her adult fiction.

This short little novel turned out to be a different book than I expected it to be. Judging from the blurb I thought it would be about Darren becoming aware he was gay. This is hinted at. There are certainly indications that he is conflicted.

Sexy is about Darren's friends getting revenge on a teacher for failing one of them. The book ended up a lot darker than I expected. The most interesting thing is that the reader knows there may be some truth to the rumours flying around about Mr. Tracey. What rumours are the truth? What does this mean? Is Mr. Tracey dangerous? Not all of these questions are answered but you have enough information to reach your own conclusion.

I thought the book could have had a better title than Sexy. I get why JCO chose this. However, the title implies the book may be something it isn't. I felt a little let down but the book is a fantastic, mature YA read.

Sexy by Joyce Carol Oates

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