Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: After School Activities by Dirk Hunter

After School ActivitiesBlurb:

Two guys insist on complicating Dylan O’Connor’s life: one, his bully, and the other, his best friend.

It started out simple enough. Step one, outsmart Adam with wit and flair, goad him into doing something stupid, and land him in detention. Step two, play video games with Kai all night and laugh about it. Go to bed. Repeat tomorrow. Only, Adam and Kai are about to change the rules on him.

First, Adam's bullying turns suddenly violent, leaving Dylan to wonder if his bully really needs a friend. Then, Kai makes an unexpected move Dylan has only imagined in his most secret fantasies. Only he'd never dreamed it might come at a price.

While Adam opens up, coming closer to revealing a secret he’s kept his entire life, Kai pulls away even as they get closer than ever.

With everything he thought he understood turned upside down, Dylan must decide what he really wants from the men in his life—before inaction loses him the very relationships he's always relied on.

No pressure, Dylan. You got this. It's just love. How hard could it be?

 Todd’s rating:

 This sexy, fun, enemies to lovers YA novel was a complete joy to read. If you like YA, then this book personifies everything that YA readers are normally looking for. In freaking spades.

Dylan and Adam are both 17 y.o. high school juniors and have hated one another for years. These two give new meaning to the word "nemesis."  

        Detention, anyone? Yes, please.

Dylan is openly gay and Adam doesn't let a single day pass without verbally squaring off against Dylan's "fuck you, if you don't like it" gayness.

Adam is the stereotypical "hot jock", complete with a pack of asshole, homophobic football buddies, but he has a secret. You know back in grade school when a little boy pulls a little girl's pigtails and what that really means, right? Yep, same thing here.

It was a complete blast to watch these two go at it. And then later on in the book, *actually* go at it in private.

Dylan's best friends, Kai and Mel are a complete trip, too.

Sexy, flirty Kai, who Dylan has done his best to not fall in love with, gets bored and horny ("borny"?) and initiates some consensual, no-strings-attached man-lovin' with Dylan. Not exactly sure why, but it was fun to read and turned out to be all kinds of dramatic.

And when Dylan and Adam finally get "together" together, then fear causes Adam to (stupidly) begin seeing Tiffany behind Dylan's back, "You should only use your powers for good" Mel initiates the ingenious (and hilarious) Operation "It's Raining Bitches". Turning a pack of vapid, vicious cheerleaders loose upon themselves??? Freaking *classic* and ingenious. I loved it.

We get our somewhat-expected "Oh no, you didn't, I'm fucking out of here" break up, but then a tragedy requires that Dylan comfort Adam as his life is falling part, bringing them back together again. So, yes, we do get our HEA and it was pretty spectacular, IMHO.

All in all, the book was chocked full of genuine humor, feelings and fun, with a smattering of drama here and there. And I really loved it.

4 1/2 *I-outwardly-hate-you-but-inwardly-love-you* stars and I highly recommend this book for any YA fans looking for a good laugh and tug on their heart strings.

PS - I found Dylan's fluid "4 hottest guys in school" scale completely hilarious. Definitely a "must not miss".

My copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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