Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Book Review | TIME OUT by Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, Carlyn Greenwald

by Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, Carlyn Greenwald
Publication: May 30, 2023
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Teen Fiction / Coming-of-Age
Rating: ★★★★

Heartstopper meets Friday Night Lights in this “seamless, engrossing” (Publishers Weekly) coming-of-age story about a teen hometown hero who must find out who he is outside of basketball when his coming out as gay costs him his popularity and place on the team.

In his small Georgia town, Barclay Elliot is basically a legend. Here basketball is all that matters, and no one has a bigger spotlight than Barclay. Until he decides to use the biggest pep rally in the town’s history to come out to his school. And things change. Quickly.

Barclay is faced with hostility he never expected. Suddenly he is at odds with his own team, and he doesn’t even have his grandfather to turn to the way he used to. But who is Barclay if he doesn’t have basketball?

His best friend, Amy, thinks she knows. She drags him to her voting rights group, believing Barclay can find a bigger purpose. And he does, but he also finds Christopher. Aggravating, fearless, undeniably handsome Christopher. He and Barclay have never been each other’s biggest fans, but as Barclay starts to explore parts of himself he’s been hiding away, they find they might have much more in common than they originally thought.

As sparks turn into something more, though, Barclay has to decide if he’s ready to confront the privilege and popularity that have shielded him his entire life. Can he take a real shot at the love he was fighting for in the first place? -Simon & Schuster

I was pleasantly surprised by Time Out, a YA novel about a gay basketball star who faces homophobia and corruption in his small town. I was even more delighted when I learned that one of the authors is Sean Hayes, the actor who played Jack in Will & Grace. He and his co-authors did a great job of creating a realistic and engaging story that tackles some serious issues.

Time Out grabs your attention from the first page, when Barclay comes out as gay in front of his whole school. This sets the stage for a story full of drama, romance, and activism. I loved how Barclay's character grew throughout the book, as he faced the challenges of being out in a homophobic town. He made some mistakes, he struggles with his own ego and insecurities, which lead him to make some bad decisions that hurt the people who care about him. Along the way, he learned to be more confident and supportive of his friends and family. He had a great arc that made me root for him.

The book also did a great job of creating a realistic small-town vibe, with Barclay knowing everyone and everything that was going on. The plot was fast-paced and engaging, with short chapters that made me want to keep reading. The romance between Barclay and Christopher was slow but sweet, and I enjoyed seeing them get closer over time. They had a lot of chemistry and cute moments. I also enjoyed the friendship between Barclay, Amy, and Christopher, who form a loyal and fun trio. The book had a strong political theme, as Barclay and his friends campaigned for their town's elections and encouraged people to vote. I liked how the book showed the importance of civic engagement and standing up for what you believe in.

TIME OUT is a book that balances humor, heart, and hope. It is a book that celebrates diversity, courage, and acceptance. It shows the importance of being true to yourself and standing up for what is right. It also shows that being gay does not define you or limit you in any way. It's a great read for anyone who likes books with diverse characters, social justice, and adorable love stories.


About the Authors:

Sean Hayes
Sean Hayes is an Emmy Award–winning actor, best known for his role as Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. He is also a writer, comedian, and producer. In addition to his credits in television and film, he has also found success on Broadway. He lives with his husband, Scott Icenogle, in Los Angeles. Sean is the author of picture book Plum and young adult novel Time Out. 

Todd Milliner
Todd Milliner is an Emmy Award–winning producer and writer who cofounded Hazy Mills Productions with Sean Hayes in 2004. He has produced over 400 episodes of television, including hit NBC drama Grimm and the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. He lives with his husband, Michael Matthews, in Los Angeles. 

Carlyn Greenwald
Carlyn Greenwald writes romantic and thrilling page-turners for teens and adults. A film school graduate and former Hollywood lackey, she now works in publishing. She resides in Los Angeles, mourning the loss of ArcLight Cinemas and soaking in the sun with her dogs. Find her online on X (previously known as Twitter) @CarlynGreenwald and Instagram @Carlyn_Gee.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for the digital ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.


  1. I haven't heard of Time Out, but I am definitely curious with the comparison to Heartstopper. It does seem like an interesting story, and I'll have to check it out.

    1. I haven't read Heartstopper. Please let me know what you think when you get the chance to read Time Out. Thank you for stopping by, Karalee.

  2. This sounds like a really engaging book to read, I often find that even though I'm not the target demographic, I really connect with some YA novels. It just shows that a good, well-written story is for everyone. I love Sean Hayes, so I think I would enjoy reading this—thanks for the review!

    1. Thank you, molly. I hope you get the chance to read it too.