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Publisher's Summary

Adam plays “Bud”, the all-American boy-next-door on one of the most popular TV shows of the 1950s, but Adam has a secret. The boy-next-door likes boys instead of girls, and no one can know. 

Adam’s life becomes increasingly complicated, as his studio assigns him a girlfriend and he falls for a male co-star. The truth becomes ever harder to conceal, as Adam becomes increasingly famous and his face begins to appear on magazine covers. All Adam has ever wanted to do is act, but can he lead the life he wants to lead and maintain his secret?

©2020 Mark A. Roeder (P)2020 Mark A. Roeder

What listeners say about Teen Idol Secrets

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a bad book, but not much actually happens

I liked the main characters in Teen Idol Secrets, a lot. Well actually, I liked not just the main characters, but every single character. There wasn't anything even remotely resembling an antagonist, or anything that even tangentially affects the protagonist, Adam, negatively at all. This is a book where everything is well told and the protagonist is good, but almost nothing happens at all throughout the entire book.

Check that, things happen, I guess. A lot of things happen. But also nothing happens. Plot developments occur but go nowhere, extraneous characters are everywhere. A perfect example: Adam is a guest star on his studio-appointed girlfriend's show, and we're introduced to a character whose name escapes me (Debbie, maybe?), and she and Adam have a protracted interaction with each other. Directly after, Adam talks to his girlfriend about Debbie, or whatever her name is, and the girlfriend is like "Oh that Debbie, she sure is a character!" Well, she sure is, at that. But then we never see her again or even hear anyone reference her. So what was the point?

I love the idea of a gay teen idol starring on a 50's TV show, so there isn't anything wrong with the setup. I liked the relationship that develops between Adam and his love interest, though the love interest isn't in the book nearly enough. In fact, I actually forgot the love interest existed at one point because the plot had gone on another meaningless tangent, this one about a record deal. Adam reveals his relationship to numerous people and they all have literally the same reaction. There's a plot development involving Adam's brother toward the end that comes out of nowhere, is very unlikely, and goes nowhere. Adam is almost TOO good, and TOO humble, and I don't know how many different ways a character can say "I just feel like a regular guy, there's nothing special about me!" but I'd guess it's exactly the number of ways Adam says it in this book.

I wasn't keeping track of the time I had left in the book, and so I was very, very surprised when suddenly a chapter ended and we were back in 2020 in a haphazardly-conceived framing device I had completely forgotten about. I actually yelled, "Epilogue?? My god, that book had no plot at all!" and scared my dog. As I think about it, there were actually plot threads, but they didn't weave together and we could have gotten rid of several of them with no impact at all to the book (the brother's subplot introduced right at the end is chief among them, it actually was so dumb and pointless that it made me angry).

Don't get me wrong: in general, I enjoyed my time listening to the book. The protagonist was likable, and there was a real sense of place and family and general coziness that I very much liked. The book, to me, was like a really nice, intricate Lego set that comes pre-assembled. It's pretty to look at, but you immediately start to realize that there really isn't much happening with it. You can look at it from different angles but it never really DOES anything, you know? One thing I really did appreciate was the fact that there were no modern day politics crammed down our throats, which is VERY refreshing from a novel with gay main characters.

The narrator was sort of blah. He had a nice voice but he used the incorrect inflections several times, emphasizing the wrong word, and he didn't really change the way he narrated anything to the point where it almost felt like he was narrating a documentary instead of telling a story.

One last thing: I bought this book specifically because a sequel was released recently, but let me tell you, after listening to that thorough and somewhat depressing epilogue I wouldn't listen to the sequel if you paid me. I got all the information about what happens to the main character between the age of 18 and whatever age he would be in 2020 (almost 90?) and it sounds like something I have absolutely zero interest in experiencing, even though I did like the characters and the writing.

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  • D. J. Macey
  • 06-27-21

another good novel my mark a roeder

if you enjoy mark a roeder novels you enjoy this one too its a real good listen