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This is the basic gay High School student that becomes involved with the popular jock in High School. The main character knows he is gay and others in his school think of him as gay. This version has Hispanic overtones, which is a nice addition. I love "Hispanic" men. The reader had a strange effect on me, he does a great job, and he was easy to listen to, I guess I felt that his reading was like listening to a recording played back at slightly slower speed than originally recorded.
So for me, there wasn't any surprises with this story, but I enjoyed it and the characters I surely cared for. I guess for me it is still surprising that this country is still making this type of story a possibility, what I mean is the need for gay boys to be in the closet still. I know that back when I went to high school, 60's, I was deeply in the closet and at the same time was surely attractive to some of the very cute jocks, as well as none jocks. I guess I was fortunate in that I didn't look or act gay, so my attraction to other boys was a painful experience that NO one else ever guessed at. Thus I am still alive now, for if anyone had ever found out my life would not have been guaranteed for very long.
So the good thing about such stories for myself now is that these types of romances are available for the general public to read. Thus helping other gay boys have the feeling that they are not alone in this world, and even possibly give them hope that some hot jock could be gay. Actually I didn't spend much time in the gym, mainly because I was so shy and totally not interested in being competitive, I am still not that competitive now. If someone threw a ball at me, I would duck, I surely would not try to catch it!! Jocks for me lived in a completely different world. They had other boys as friends and touched each other and joked around. They were also very dangerous boys, they were strong and powerful and therefore could be very threatening for me. Unpredictable I guess. Of course I felt ashamed that I was attracted to them at the same time they scared the shit out of me.
I guess I am talking about myself back when I was in high school, mainly to explain why these types of stories have so much attraction to me now. To be strong, physically active and also beautiful, at least from my point of view, made me feel so attracted to these boys to the point I felt like a moth attracted to a light. This made me very ashamed with myself and I felt there was something truly wrong with me. I could see that girls were beautiful, but I never was interested in them. In some ways I knew I was gay, but at the same time I was in total denial around it. I was raised in a very strict Catholic family and back in the 60’s being gay meant you swished about, liked to decorate, and talked funny and a great many more stereo type beliefs. I could never be like that, thus I just withdrew from life in general. Coming out of my shell just enough to go to school and barely getting passing grades.
There isn't that much sex in this story, which is fine for me. I am a terrible romantic, so I am more interested in the relationship between the two characters. I guess that is what I appreciate about today's world, I don't have to find pornography to read about males being in love with each other, I can find true romantic novels like this one. For me it is a breath of fresh air.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The book is told in first person. Yet, the writer's style is better as an omniscient third person narrator. The word choice and phrasing and the many many verbal flourishes don't seem as credible coming from a high school senior.
If you’ve listened to books by Jacob Z Flores before, how does this one compare?
I was actually much more comfortable with his phrasing in When Love Takes Over. Of course the excesses of Provincetown are a great camouflage for a bit over overwrought writing.
Which scene was your favorite?
The protagonists are so young that their physical shows of affection are very muted. The epilogue gives us a great chance to see them in a more erotic, less public time.
Any additional comments?
Listening to a book aloud sometimes highlights the awkwardness of the phrasings and this book has several examples of that, for example "cars' horns blared" sounds much more awkward than "car horns blared" whereas I'd probably not have noticed if I were reading rather than listening.
Narrator Mark Westfield does a commendable job with the narration here giving each character their own "voice" and deftly handling the varying levels of accents some of the Latino characters have. The women's voices are rendered as distinct without taking on the grating falsetto quality so often given them by male narrators. Also there are some special effects of sorts including speeches muffled by shoulders or made hollow by microphones that are well rendered.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful