The Gene Pull by Benjamin Shepherd QuiñonesPublished by G. and J. Publishing
LGBT YA Sci-fi
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Noah Fletcher has a lot on his mind. Not only has he finally come to terms with being gay, but he also harbors a much deeper secret. He's been abducted by aliens who, after performing who-knows-what kind of experiments on him, left him naked in a cornfield with the ability to talk to and understand all the animals on earth.
Noah decides he's ready to come out, but his best friend, Chris Cassidy, reacts badly to the news, and before long, the whole school turns against him. He's just about to give up on having human friends when popular cheerleader Candy Bloom sticks up for him publicly. Noah is happy to have her on his side, but there's something strange about Candy. She seems to know more than she should. Somehow, she knows about his secret power and warns him about what's coming next...an alien invasion.
The question is, how are they going to stop it? And who else will join them on their mission?
The Gene Pull takes the reader on a great adventure as Noah comes to grips with the bullying of his schoolmates, his growing inner strength and confidence, and the blossoming relationship with Chris’s younger brother, Jamie.
Review: This story was a pleasant surprise. The Gene Pull is a debut novel by twenty-year-old aspiring author Benjamin Quinones. I probably shouldn't admit this, but when I purchased the book, I had rather low expectations. It's published through a self-publishing company, and I figured that since the author was so young, the writing wouldn't be all that great.
What a pleasant surprise! With the exception of some annoying POV shifts, the word-crafting was brilliant and felt very seasoned. I loved the characters, the plot, and infusion of humor throughout the story. Granted, this is a YA story about a high school kid who just came out of the closet as gay the same day he gets abducted by aliens. The events and characters are at times over the top, but it was such an entertaining read.
I loved the main character Noah. He was self-deprecating enough to be viewed sympathetically, yet he didn't have a victim mentality (in spite of some pretty harsh bullying and homophobia from his peers). He ends up falling in love with another gay kid who's absolutely adorable--kind of a nerdy bookworm who's really sweet and lovable.
I really hope readers will support this author, and I hope he goes on to write a lot more really cool books. I'm adding him to my auto-buy list and will be on the lookout for more of his stories.
Review by Jeff