I’m really torn with this book. I want to love it so much, and yet, I can’t get behind it like that. And usually, I love LGBTQ stories…even angsty teen ones about coming out.
Which this should have been. Angsty and heartbreaking and so full of emotion. There was just a lack of that. It just was. More like an account of this thing that happened that one time without a real beginning or real end. For me, that is.
So, Tretch–aka Richard III in his family/Junior Junior–the MC who is gay, who is in love with his best friend, who is trying to navigate life in a rural town in the south…I’m still voting in the Carolinas somewhere (I might have missed it). One day during church, the bullied Tretch realizes: I love Matt Gooby, my straight best friend.
From there, the story should have flown with such speed and intensity. Instead, it walked along, sometimes even falling on its hands and knees and crawled. The events were slow, wandering, and the emotion part just wasn’t there for me. It wasn’t complicated, nor was it painful to read. Maybe I missed something??? I…I…
Don’t get me wrong, there is a story there. But it was more like a diary of I went here and did this and went there and did this and “Will I come out to my parents?” sometimes. Every time I read a new problem or event, it fell, my hopes dashed.
Then the ending…It was one of those Rules of Attraction endings where the character just walks off and your left thinking: “That was it? That’s the end? What about…?” and so on. *heavy sigh* I don’t know what’s going to happen with his parents, the bully, his best friend’s reasons for an event…
I can get behind an ending like that, but only if it feels like there’s more coming. This feels fully finished, even though it’s far from that.
So three stars. A good read, but not great. I would recommend something like Two Boys Kissing for a GREAT LGBTQ read before this one. So very sadly.