4 out of 4 stars
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Corrupted by Jared Dixon is a well-written and thought-provoking look at the impact of conversion therapy from the point of view of its advocates and its victims. The lives of the characters in this book become interwoven in a complex web of lies, hypocrisy and murder. Each character is multi-dimensional and essential to the story.
Jerry Nelson is one of the main characters in the book. He was a college student at MIT, but left school to pursue his dreams in New York City. Through a series of events that left him with no other option, he moved back home to live with his parents. Jerry experiences severe anxiety regarding his parents and their opinions about his homosexuality when he moves back home. Jerry has a strong support system provided by a group of friends. One of his friends, Carl, is the son of a preacher who advocates for conversion therapy to promote a heterosexual lifestyle. However, Carl is coming to terms with his homosexuality and revealing that aspect of his life to his parents. When Jerry accepts a position as a reporter investigating conversion therapy, his investigation leads him to uncovering dangerous secrets and lies. His life and the lives of his friends may be in danger.
In addition to Jerry and his group of friends, there is an additional storyline involving his parents. This group combines infidelity, sex trafficking and murder. Heather works with Jerry’s father and is also the proprietor of a sex trafficking establishment with a wide range of clients. The complex web of relationships and deceit is fascinating to read and kept me engaged in the story from the beginning to the end of the book. I found the character development to be the most enjoyable aspect of the book. I didn’t see any area of the book that the author could improve upon.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was surprised to learn that this is the author’s first novel. He was able to expertly intertwine the various storylines into one cohesive story. Each character was written to express their viewpoints in a realistic and non-judgmental manner. This gave them depth and made them more relatable to readers. The overarching theme of conversion therapy is analyzed from every viewpoint. The additional themes of murder and intrigue added to the story.
I would recommend this book as an interesting and engaging story involving alternative lifestyles and acceptance. Due to a significant amount of profanity and graphic sexual situations, I would not recommend this book for younger readers or anyone opposed to that type of content. I only saw two grammatical errors in the book, but they did not diminish my enjoyment of the story. I give this book a rating of 4 out 4 stars as an entertaining and engaging novel.
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