I will preface this review by stating that I am not really a fan of young adult fiction. It’s not a genre that really grabs me, probably because my own young adult days were equivalent to a horror movie where no matter how far you run, you just can’t get away. However, I knew from the moment I heard that Will Parkinson was releasing his book, that I would read it. He’s an incredible man and a beautiful writer so I knew that I would enjoy this story.
Taylor is a typically average high school boy, or so he thinks. He’s a little plump, he’s so-so at schoolwork, he loves to draw and is really good at it, and he’s hiding in the closet. When the new boy, Jackson, joins his sophomore homeroom, Taylor is instantly struck by how good-looking and confident the other boy is. Taylor’s best friend, Benny, figures the crush will die out like they all do and is surprised when it continues, even as far as Taylor attending baseball games. In an aside, I completely fell in love with Benny. Everyone should have a best friend like that! Taylor spends the whole year falling in love with Jackson even though it seems Jackson is hooked up with a cheerleader. (GAWD images of high school nightmares)
Taylor and Benny volunteer to spend the summer as counselors at a camp for abused children. I will admit here that some of the story became a little too pat, as in the boy who never opened up at camp all of a sudden did the day he met Taylor and Benny, but it worked for this storyline and I could understand why the author wrote it this way. Both Taylor and Benny came home from camp re-evaluating themselves and what they might want to do in the future. Then it was back to school in the eleventh grade.
Unfortunately, Taylor is outed by the treacherous actions of a date he never should have gone on. Luckily, life goes along fairly well with not too many hassles at school. Benny is always by his side, supporting him and they’ve made plans to go to college together. Junior prom comes and, finally, a conversation with Jackson reveals a huge betrayal on both of their parts. Life is wonderful for Taylor and Jackson as they begin to date and spend time together. Unfortunately, a blast from both of their pasts shows up and it takes both of them, along with Benny, to see that love can conquer all.
This was a refreshing change for me to read. I’m sorry, Mr. Parkinson, it won’t make me a huge lover of YA, but it does make me a huge lover of your work. This is a sweet story with some adult angst that is dealt with in a positive way. I look forward to reading more by this author.
DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Harmony Ink Press for the purpose of a review.