ERIC is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.
DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.
Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
I have not read many books in the young adult gay and lesbian genre, so when I was approached I was a little wary. However, I like to think I have an open mind, so I said yes. I am so glad that I did, because I loved it!
Tim is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot. He is a typical seventeen year old, trying to cope with more than the usual angst; he is quite sensitive and kind. Maybe a little too much, which makes him vulnerable to the school bully. Afraid to report the bully in case of making the situation worse Tim hides it from his family, but his best friend Delsin knows.
Delsin is also a wonderful character. He has been friends with Tim since grade school, and is quite protective of him. Unfortunately, his home life is very dysfunctional and he has problems of his own to deal with; not least of which is knowing he is gay and afraid of his parents' reactions to his news.
Eric is a character that I thought I would love to hate; he is the bully who has been attacking Tim. However, as I got to know him a lot better, I actually felt myself feeling sorry for him. His life is just as angst ridden as the other two characters, but he has a secret that he has been hiding.
I started reading this story and was completely hooked! This tale is told in the alternating points of view of these three characters, which gives the reader a greater insight into their characters. These characters have flaws, which brings them to life. The main voice is Tim's, who uses his journal entries to describe events and his feelings. Each of these three boys have a shared past. Tim and Eric were friends when they were younger, but we never find out why they stopped being friends until further into the book; Tim and Delsin are BFF's and next door neighbours.
Although I really enjoyed meeting these characters, my only complaint about this story was the change from first person (Tim) to third person (Delsin and Eric). This in itself was not really an issue once I got used to it, but it was a bit unsettling at first. However, why the author used this type of narrative becomes clearer further into the story. As the story unfolded, several events in the tale shocked me, and some touched me deeply. However, one event made me realise why Eric bullied people; he is acting out to make himself feel better. Bullies are either jealous, being bullied or are abused themselves. I will leave it to you to find out which category Eric falls into. I reached the end of the story and I found it a bit bittersweet; I was sad to say goodbye to these characters, but happy that they had found peace with themselves and each other.
Jayson James has written a fantastic young adult story that explores several topics that every teen can relate to: bullying, angst, depression, stress, suicide, abuse - sexual, verbal and physical, friendship and love. He brings a sensitivity to these topics so that they do not feel judgmental. Although I have not read any other books by this author, I would certainly consider reading more of his work in the future.
Due to the mention of sex and sexual acts (not explicit), I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens (16+) and adults who like to read YA or LGBT genres. - Lynn Worton
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