J. Paul Devlin
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (6/16)
In “A Passing Phase” by J. Paul Devlin, protagonist Nate is a high school senior who is trying to come to grips with his sexual orientation. Nate has had several sexual encounters with guys, has tried relationships with girls, and still is confused. Determined not to be gay, Nate decides he will see the therapist his overbearing mother wants him to see. The therapist believes 100% in conversion therapy and that the feelings Nate has for other guys is just really animal lust. His therapist tells him to look at girls/women only and when he feels attracted to a male to view him as a “serial killer,” or “terrorist.” He even recommends that Nate go to a weekend retreat with others who have overcome homosexuality or are trying to do so. What Nate doesn’t understand is that not all people who are in a recovery (sort of) program are truly 100% that way and the experience ends up being a disaster. But Nate is determined to be an ex-gay guy, whatever that is.
“A Passing Phase” is an incredible story that is very well written and readers will experience a variety of emotions. This reviewer was laughing and crying, feeling enraged, and wanting to slap his mother and therapist. It captures what many of our homosexual and/or straight individuals go through during their lives and how for some, being straight is more accepting in society than being homosexual. Readers will definitely be able to relate to the characters in the story and identify with several of the situations Nate, his friends, and family experience.
The author writes with a passion that shows he really loves what he is writing about and is willing to put it all out there even though some may not agree with him. He allows readers into the mind of Nate and hope they will cheer him on as he finds his true self. From the beginning of the book until the very last page, readers will be captivated. I thoroughly enjoyed “A Passing Phase” and I hope to read more books from J. Paul Devlin.