Hero by Perry Moore
Thom Creed has a lot on his plate. His mother left a few years back and that's just one of the many things his father has never recovered from. His dad was part of a group of superheroes. He didn't have powers, but he still stopped crime. That is, until there was a big disaster and his dad became the scapegoat. Since then the two have been scraping together an existence.
I'm still not sure how to deal with the whole Thom is gay deal. I don't care that Thom is gay and I think he's written very well. I liked that Moore gave readers a look into the mind of a gay teen. Who would have thought, they are just like everyone else? Oh, yeah, that would be me and it should be everybody else, too. I think I found the gay story line to be really dramatic because I think it should be a non-issue. But, then I'm not a gay teen. And, while I know plenty of gay people who seem to just be living their lives on their own terms, I also know how many ways it sucks for them because they are gay. Well, it sucks for them because of other people, but that's a by product of the gay.
Thom's sexuality is a huge thing for him and his experience convinces him that everyone will automatically hate him or feel revulsion toward him. Sadly, sometimes they do. But, he misses out on a lot of experiences because he's convinced that he knows how people will react. Over at goodreads a lot of people picked on this book because they felt there was too much overdrawn adolescent angst and melodrama. I think it's probably the only realistic thing in the whole book.
This is a superhero story. While Thom's dad was a super crime fighter guy, he was still a regular guy. But, there are lots of people with super powers, both good and bad. The leader of The League, the good guys, is an alien, but Moore never really gets into how or why there are people with powers. Not only is Thom constantly worried about his dad, he's also worried about disappointing or displeasing him. Their financial situation is kind of frightening, his dad is reviled by everyone who knows about the big disaster and Thom can't turn to his dad for help and support for the one thing that troubles him the most. When he finds that he has powers, it's just another thing that will drive a wedge between him and his father.
I think that Thom's story didn't need the whole aliens and superheroes plot at all. It was overkill. Thom Creed as a regular kid, dealing with a mother who left, his sexuality, the tenuous situation he and his father are in, school, sports, jobs and volunteer work is plenty to hold a reader's attention. It's also plenty of story. The rest was just kind of silly.