Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World by Janet E. Cameron (Hachette Books, 1 March 2013)
I can't believe how good this book is–and I can't believe it's this good and yet so few people have read it or even heard of it. It's keenly observed, achingly beautiful, shockingly real. I fell in love with every moment of reading it. It's a coming-of-age, coming out story, and–I don't consider this a spoiler, really, because it's important for me to know these things going in–there's homophobic violence. The gay guy gets beaten up. But it doesn't feel trite in the slightest.
In Riverside, Nova Scotia, Stephen Shulevitz realises he has fallen in love with his best friend, Mark. They're sitting in the basement watching TV together, and there's a moment when he imagines himself kissing Mark–and that's the moment when the world ends. But as the book goes on, you find out that Stephen has had lots of moments like this before. He's known for years that there was something different about himself, and as for Mark–well. Stephen has been best friends with Mark for eight years. And now, they're nearing the end of high school. In a few months, Stephen will be out of here. It turns out a lot can happen in a few months.