When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.
When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?
In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with awkward firsts and a few haters, but also the unexpected comfort of a friend turned lover.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit. It was cute, sweet and more than a little touching.
Theo was just turning 16, with Chris a year older, and they'd been best friends since Chris rescued Theo from bullies in the 6th grade.
I loved their friendship dynamic, how open and caring it could be, with even the smallest, most inconsequential of things.
But Theo had been in love with Chris for over a year, and Chris had a tendency to be buried under a pile of girls at any given time, leaving Theo with the realization that he had to do whatever it took to move past those feelings for his straight best friend. Basically, pretty typical fare for YA stories.
What wasn't typical, and honestly shocked me a bit was that there were actual on-page sex scenes between the young characters.
This began with "Asshole Dave", an obnoxious, new skater guy at school who loved nothing more than to tease and torment Theo. Theo thought that Asshole Dave didn't like him, but yeah, he was definitely wrong on that count.
After Asshole Dave finally cleared the air and let Theo know that he liked him "in that way," they began a string of casual hookups with one another, which, *shock*, didn't set well with Chris, who had come to suspect what might have been going on.
Now, the reason I keep calling the guy Asshole Dave, always will, was because he outed Theo in the most godawful, public way humanly possible. Theo had come to think of them as friends, in addition to them being casual lovers, only to be bitterly betrayed in a drunken moment.
And, although Chris was in no way happy about the situation, he fully had Theo's back, same as always. I loved those parts of the book.
The main drama in the story comes from dealing with the fallout over Theo's very public outing, aka "What’s in Wooten’s Mouth?", and Theo's non-relationship with his (also asshole) distant father.
Normally, that would be more than enough drama for me, but for some reason, this story still didn't feel like it had quite enough conflict. Please, don't ask me why. I really can't say. That's just how it felt to me.
I also really enjoyed the high level of feels and support between Theo and Chris, once they finally divulged their feelings and became a couple. I could definitely tell that the feelings ran deeper than just those below their belts.
One added extra of the book was the inclusion of Theo's Great Uncle Theo, his namesake. I adored the visits to see the uncle and my socks were blown clean off at the huge revelation about Uncle Theo. The part where Theo took Chris along was a real tear jerker of a scene.
While this book didn't completely excite me as much as I'd hoped, it was definitely a good, solid story with plenty to keep me entertained, so I'd rate it at around 3.5 stars.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
Get the book:
Thanks for visiting our blog and I hope you enjoyed my review!
Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or bookseller listed.