I am just the opposite of an original person, so I read this book all thrilled after the sweet experience with [b:Sock it to Me, Santa!|16124430|Sock it to Me, Santa!|Madison Parker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1392870688s/16124430.jpg|21946896]. I was really eager to see this author displaying all her talent in a novel-length story and YA is a genre I certainly don’t despise.
Yeah, it was nice in the beginning, it was romantic in one chapter, and then it all went wrong. It was promising but then it lost heart and I feel disappointment, first at the mistake of reading this after the great Santa short, second for continuing reading it after the zenith.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a good time, but comparisons suck, and that’s a fact.
First I’ll talk about people, there are a lot, so I will use numbers:
1. Lucas. My great issue in this book. He cries when he is sad, he cries when his brother laughs at him, he cries when people laughs at him… and then he cries when he is sad, he cries when his brother laughs at him, he cries when people laughs at him… and then he cries when he is sad, he cries when his brother laughs at him, he cries when people laughs at him…
Have you noticed the repetition? I have. Do you think he’s a pain? I do.
And after all of that he cries and does nothing, he doesn’t get angry with his brother, he doesn’t get angry with people at school, he doesn’t shout his mother, he doesn’t confront his father… and they really need some fury from his part, because they are all the time trespassing on his territory and in the end the last straw makes you react but he doesn’t! I’m not saying he should burn their cars or kill their dog but something! A change! A human reaction! He’s such a chump he exasperated me.
Oh my, he can’t get on his own feet and he was tiring. I’m very concerned about bullying and respect but I like my MC with some kind of personality, and he had none. It’s not necessary to draw self-confident and invincible people for me to fall in love with them. Just the opposite, I love scarred people, flawed people, people who are trying to find their place in the world. Yes, I love imperfect people in my books. But I can’t stand wimps and here I had them in spades.
2. The father. In the beginning he seemed he looked down on his son’s sexuality, and Lucas doesn’t say anything. Then I really liked him (he's the best character in the book) but the damage was done.
3. The mother. She’s a hippy I can’t stand. Your son is being bullied and the best advice you have is to try to make friends instead of keeping for himself? Seriously? You know someone tried to put your son in the locker and you only answer “Well, at least he didn’t hit you”? The world is fucked-up, guys. But that’s not the only thing, when Lucas has a boyfriend at last she outdid herself and said the following message “You listen and ask about everything he likes, and do everything he wants”. Yeah, I want a mother like that one.
4. The brother. He’s the dog who barks but doesn’t bite. He is all the time picking on him and in the end he is the lovely brother who bites at everyone who wants to hurt him. He didn’t atone for his behavior, not for me, at least.
5. Trish is a shallow creature. She is all the while, Boo here, Boo there, oh Boo I’m sorry, Boo prepare my number, oh Boo let’s go out with Donovan. Why? Because he’s gay, enough reason, yeah? She’s focused on Zach because he’s hot as hell, but she doesn’t do jocks. Huh. Then she ends up with a jock. Why? Because of the way this jock treats Lucas while eaves-drooping to their conversation and their dance together. She may cry for that. Bullshit.
6. Alex. He is the super perfect jock and straight man who loves gays and sets an example for the rest who considered him a popular guy. Huh, did you see me rolling my eyes? No? Read again.
7. Donovan. I don’t like him, but that’s because it’s very influenced by the author’s writing. He is portrayed as a bitch, and sometimes it felt exaggerated, like a caricature. And please, how can Lucas stand being treated like this? Oh, yeah, I remember, look point 3.
8. The swim team. Zach is gay and his mates don’t know it, and when they are aware of this fact there is only a pair of bad sentences and that’s it. No further conflict. I find it hard to believe. I don’t want to be a cynic about the human nature but when dialogues begin like this there is no immediate acceptance by all the participants.
From here on I will use number for facts and scenes that were ridiculous.
1. Zach is 18 years old and he likes to be spanked. Huh. I don’t say there are not boys his age who are that confident about their sexual preferences… but really? This felt very out of place, IMO.
2. Why there are so many “Loves you” in so few pages at the end? They left me an aftertaste and not a good one. “Love you” is precious, don’t waste it. It loses its significance. Please.
3. The Big Misunderstanding, related with point 1. Dumping the boyfriend before talking first. How typical. *Sighs*. (At least there is no kidnapping, thank God!) And then running to the loved one after one long night crying on the pillow. Yeah.
4. The reason why Zach fell in love with Lucas in the first place, even before they even talked. It’s stupid and empty and pretentious. I can live without music, at the dismay of music lovers. My most recent dialogue with one of those was something like this:
“You don’t listen to music? Really? I can’t do that! I listen to every kind.”
“Well, I like music just fine, but I can live without it, no big deal”.
“What singers and groups do you like?”
“Oh, I like Queen.”
“Huh, that one? Pfff.”
“How can you say that about Freddie Mercury’s voice? It’s a crime!”
“I don’t like that one. What else?”
“Ah, I love Cat Stevens.”
Yes, so maybe I have a heart of stone, but I really rolled my eyes at that scene. You can feel attracted to someone just by his appearance, ok, but actually falling in love when a person talks in public about Beethoven? Zach is not a music freak, so I don’t understand those feelings of his in just this mere nosing.
No, it didn’t wowed me.