It may be Christmas, but there is little to celebrate for teenager Aidan Donovan. His family is crumbling: his father has left and his mother can only do so much. Aiden feels that the only person he can turn to is Father Greg, his local priest. However, once he sees Father Greg’s darker intentions with boys like him, Aiden feels his world is falling apart around him. He turns to a small group of friends: Sophie, the wild girl; Josie, the girl he is falling in love with; and Mark, the boy who has secrets of his own to deal with. This trio stands by him and helps Aiden make sense of his life.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
Kiely’s debut novel had me rushing to finish it, but also stopping and pondering the characters in this story and from the real world. The Gospel of Winter dives into the world where pastors and church leaders abuse their boys, as we have seen far too often before. This is easily my favorite book written by Kiely.
NOTE: Despite being an upper-elementary reading level, this is a YOUNG ADULT book with mature themes.
Powerful, personal, and very real. Aiden's story sparks a range of emotions from anger to empathy and love.
This is a story about a teen's struggle with abuse and drug use. It has sexual content and language that is not suited for children.
This is a young adult novel about love, truth, and facing your demons.
As our teen suggests, this is a ripped-from-the-headlines type story that will make the news more "real" for teens. Aiden is someone they will see as a classmate or friend. Topics for discussion include healthy ways to deal with crises (e.g, Aiden starts drinking and over-using his meds), identifying predatory behavior, friendship, and the two sides of love.
15 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 15
Borrow, at least. This is a powerful story. If you like Kiely's writing, you may want this on your shelf to read again.