Reviewed by Shin Mon Thway
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Usually I don’t read YA that often, but the premise of this book really intrigued me. I do love reading swoony romances and adult couples, but I think there’s a certain charm in reading about a young adult’s struggle to become an adult and their journey to discovery about love, loss, lust and life. These are the things we all have gone through but it’s refreshing to revisit again in a certain charming young adult’s eyes.
Collin and Nate decided to have a little innocent fun one night after school. After all, what could possibly happen from sneaking into a gay club to experiment a bit. Unbeknownst to them, that was the night which will irrevocably and irreversibly change their lives. When a mad shooter entered the club and started shooting everything and everyone, the world once Collin knew came crashing down. He now has to walk an arduous and difficult journey of dealing with the loss of his best friend, the prejudice and hate from being outed nationally, survivor’s guilt and physical and mental wounds of his wary soul.
First, this isn’t a romance. I’m sure this is author’s ode to survivors of countless gay bashing and unnecessary hatred and prejudice that LGBTQIA people must face in the world every day. Everything seemed to pass in a flash but for Collin and Nate’s family, everything changed. It was heart-wrenching and sorrowful to witness the aftermath of that horrible night for Collin but at the same time, I was proud of him. Everything was set against him, but he prevailed. He was freed with burden and guilty conscience at the end and I’m sure he will go far in his life.
This was angsty, way too realistic, and made me cry a few times but it was worth it to go through this journey because it makes me realize how precious life is and how much it’s important to cherish your loved ones before it’s too late. Dennis Abrams did a great job balancing the angst and reality with a hopeful silver lining in the end.