This is an intense, emotional and gritty contemporary. I connected with Nate and felt his pain.
We see all sides to this relationship, the present and then different things in flashbacks throughout the book. We get to see the uncertainty, the flirting, an even that is traumatic for Nate, and pieces of Nate and Adam's healing as well as their happy times.
Nate is so vulnerable and brave all at the same time. You can clearly see the insecurities, but he also stands up for the injustices. I loved the T-shirt theme. He would wear something about gay pride and the teachers would make him repeatedly turn it inside out. Instead of stopping, he turned it into a "movement" at his school, where others would wear pride shirts or just wear inside out to support him.
It really highlights the cruelty, ignorance and intolerance of some people. I do not miss high school and this shows me many reasons why. It was painful to read about what Nate and Adam went through, and had to deal with because of who they love. As a christian, I feel bad that there was people that opposed and was so cruel to Nate. I am really close with Jesus, and in no way do I think that he would have treated someone that way or stood for it. I have my own things that I do that is against what the bible speaks for or against, and I agree with what was said that they needed to get the planks out of their eye before trying to judge someone else.
Danial is a great secondary character, and I loved every scene he was in. He is a straight guy, but he has ties to the gay community. I really appreciate how he stood up for and was a true friend to Nate. His back story is so touching, and it moved me so much.
I was so conflicted about Luke. His mere presence put Nate in a weird place. He is a guy who is ready to come out, but worried about the ramifications, and very worried that his parents won't be supportive. Since Nate's dad didn't support it and he felt much the same way, Nate took him in and wanted to help him.
This story of first and powerful love isn't perfect though. There are big misunderstandings that get in Adam and Nate's way. There is evidence that Adam is not being the guy that we believe him to be... the evidence just is not pointing his way. And then Nate does some stupid things too that made me want to smack some sense into him. But at the end of the day (or book, however you want to look at it) I felt for these characters, and I cared what happened to them. I could see where their mistakes come from, and usually the heart is in the right place, just not fully realizing what the consequences can be and who it could hurt.
This book should be for mature teens and up due to drugs, language and semi-descriptive sexual acts. Nothing is too gratuitous but still a bit more descriptive than most ya lit.
None of the above really bothered me though, it seemed realistic from a male pov.
The ending is abrupt, but the epilogue gives more closure, and it is sweet.
Bottom Line: Hardcore emotional but beautifully written story about a gay boy learning to love and accept himself, and taking others along for the ride.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)