For so many young people, coming to terms with being gay involves an agony of shame and confusion. For a Christian, brought up with the unequivocal message that homosexuality is a sin, it can be torment. This is a sensitive subject, no doubt about that, but one I feel to be incredibly important. Mia Kerick certainly hasn’t shied away from it in this story. She tackles the issue head-on, and with a depth of compassion and understanding that impressed me no end.

On the surface, sixteen-year-old Anthony Del Vecchio would appear to have a charmed life. Adopted as a baby into a close-knit Italian-American family, he has parents who dote on him and a brood of younger sisters who worship the ground he walks on. Raised to be a devout Catholic, he has a circle of good friends from Our Way, the youth group at his local church, and a strong relationship with God. Yet, Anthony also has a secret, one he fears will destroy everything he values most. He is gay.

Bombarded with information on how he will burn in hell if he acts on his feelings, Anthony sinks into a black hole of unhappiness and self-loathing. Desperate for guidance, he turns to his youth group leader for help, only to be thrown out of Our Way and shunned by those he once called friends. Then Anthony meets David Gandy, notorious at school for being an out and proud gay Christian. As the two boys explore their budding friendship and growing attraction, Anthony starts to believe it might be possible for him to stay true to both his sexuality and his faith.

Inclination is a sweet, thought-provoking novel that warmed my heart and left me with an enormous sense of well being. The arguments for the acceptance of homosexuality by the church, as well as those against, have been meticulously researched. Anthony’s struggle to make peace with himself is as powerful as it is authentic, and his developing relationship with David deeply touching. You don’t need to be a Christian to enjoy this story. If you’re seeking an inspiring read that deals with a difficult topic in a positive way, I can recommend this book.

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Reviewed for Rainbow Book Reviews

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