The general consensus of criticism for this book seems to be that eight days in a gay conversion program is not long enough to warrant a memoir, even one that works in context from Conley's life prior...
to the program. I think what these critics are missing is that Conley's thesis is not so much based on the eight days themselves but how they are the crux, the pinnacle of everything that he experienced in the first nineteen years of his life. I will agree that the book does drag a bit in the middle, and that it could come across as florid to those unfamiliar with the Bible and literature (I personally loved the many allusions), but I thought Conley's back-and-forth structure of "life before" and "life after" being unwillingly outed was a perfect intertwining of both subtle and obvious abuse. It's not just about the eight days; it's about them and everything that resulted in the eight days. This book should be required reading for everyone, especially Christians.
An important account of a provocative subject. Conley is a gifted writer whose skill with language is on full display throughout this book. However, a glaring problem is that Conley's experience within the ex-gay program lasted a mere 8 days, which is stretched out among recollections which are at best tangentially related to this experience. This is the main reason why it took me nearly a month to finish this rather slim tome and found the middle to be a struggle to get through. Thankfully, the book starts well and finishes very strong, with Conley sharing some truly heartbreaking realizations. While I appreciate the pensive nature of this memoir, I think the upcoming film adaptation may make more of an impact on me.