Pray the Gay Away, by Zach Zakar, Michael Zakar

bookboy_troy's review

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This coming of age memoir written by the Zakar twins was in turns both hilarious and heart-warming. The book takes place in metro-Detroit when the twins are in middle school, high school, and their early twenties and encompasses pivotal moments in their lives--discovering who they are, coming out, and finding acceptance within themselves and their religious family. These stories speak volumes to the importance of family bonds through tough times. Overall, this was a very charming and enjoyable reading experience.

wigginst's review

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This was a fantastic read. What things to go through in such a short span of time. The two of you are an interesting pair. Hope to meet you someday.

abetterbradley's review

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This book is a great example of why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I’ve been following the Zakar Twins on social media for years now. I follow them because they’re gorgeous and gay and happen to live in my area. I met them last year at Ferndale Pride where I bought this book and had it signed. It’s been in a pile of other books I want to read and, since I’ve finished up my Lenten reads but there’s still a few days of Lent left, I decided to actually read it. I have to say that I was surprised at how good this book turned out to be.

Let me first state that the the title is a misnomer. If you’re looking for a book that is going to take a piercing look at conversion camps, this isn’t that book. The Zakar Twins, Michael and Zach, never really became interested in the Catholic faith and their mom throwing holy water at them is mainly played for laughs. I did appreciate that they spoke a little about growing up in a religious household but what really struck me was the beneath the surface stuff that I wish was delved into a little more.

I couldn’t imagine the cruelty of kids post September 11th and being bullied and labeled a terrorist in the 5th grade. I couldn’t imagine trying to forge your own identity when your classmates either call you by your brothers name or having people reduce you to what you are and call you Twin. I couldn’t imagine being a first born Iraqi American but still being thrown into ESL classes.

This book surprised me and I’m glad that I finally picked it up and read it.