Russel Middlebrook Is Getting Married!
Russel Middlebrook, the star of Brent Hartinger’s landmark seven-book series (and a 2013 feature film co-starring Scott Bakula), is marrying his longtime boyfriend in The Road to Amazing, the author’s latest book, due March 15, 2016.
“It was definitely time!” Hartinger says. “After everything that’s happened to them, it seems like the natural progression for them. But I also love that the issue of gay weddings has been so much in the news lately. One of my very favorite things about these books has been that I’ve been able to explore all the real-world issues that interest me, by seeing them through the eyes of my characters.”
In 2003, Hartinger made a big splash documenting the lives of gay teens with his humorous young adult novel Geography Club, starring the character of Russel Middlebook. Geography Club has now spawned a feature film and six sequels, one of which won the Lambda Award.
Since 2003, the character has continued to grow up, becoming one of the first literary character to jump genres, from young adult books to adult ones. In The Road to Amazing, Russel is now 25, and he and his boyfriend have gathered their close friends in a remote lodge on an island in Puget Sound, to spend the weekend together before the actual wedding ceremony on Sunday. And for the first time in his life, Russel is determined to not be neurotic, and not over-think things!
But that’s before things start going wrong. Who expected a dead killer whale to wash up on the beach below the inn? Something strange is going on with Russel’s fiancé too. It couldn’t possibly be that he doesn’t want to get married, could it?
Meanwhile, the wedding is taking place near the ruins of a small town, Amazing, where, a hundred years earlier, the people supposedly all disappeared overnight. Why does it feel like the secret at the end of the road to Amazing has something to do with Russel’s own future? Can Russel’s old friends Min, Gunnar, Vernie, and Otto somehow help him make it all make sense?
The Road to Amazing, the final book in the Russel Middlebrook Futon Years trilogy, is a story about endings and beginnings, and also about growing up and growing older. But mostly it’s a story about love and friendship—about how it’s not the destination that makes a life amazing, but the people you meet along the way.