Senior Toren Grey cares more about his family and his grades than what brand of clothes he wears. Majority consensus is that he’s a nerd. So he’s surprised when resident bad boy Wesley Carroll speaks to him in the hall, stirring feelings that Toren has to hide. Though disconcerted by Wes’s free and easy ways, Toren can’t deny the attraction between them. As he relaxes and gets to know Wes better, he finds there’s more to the sexy rebel than his public image. Before long the young men are exploring new territory and falling in love, but life just isn’t that simple. After they graduate, obstacles block their relationship at every turn: Wes working versus Toren in college, the virulent disapproval of parents, and everyday trials faced by any struggling young couple. Wes and Toren have to believe in each other…and never doubt that their love can conquer all.
I had read this (first edition) a few years ago and I had liked it (more or less). I never wrote a review, so I can’t tell you exactly what I’d thought, but I remembered it fondly and there is one scene in it that really stuck with me and made me look the book up once or twice after reading it. (That is an accomplishment in and of itself, as I read so much that a lot of the times anything not very powerful will merge into the quagmire and be more or less forgotten.). (The scene, FWIW is when Toren is in school looking at a swab from his mouth.)
So, when I saw this was being re-published, I thought – sure! I remember that book and thought it would be fun. It was originally published in 2009! So, I’m sure, at the time, it was one of only a few of it’s kind out there, and I bet it did feel refreshing and wonderful. So, with that in mind, I do think it has it’s place.
But… it did not stand the test of time. Probably because I’ve since read stories that covered a similar situation and to my way of thinking, did it better (or as appeals to me better.)
I could barely read it again. Mostly because I cannot really stand Wes.
I think, originally, I found him to be a cute “bad” boy that helps our poor nerdy Toren to find himself.
Well, that’s true, but he’s also just not my favorite character. He’s kind of a non-communicative bully and I’m just a little too sensitive to the fact that he doesn’t really project a guy that I think Toren would do well with long term and that bugs me now.
I just didn’t like him and found him to be like a 1970s punk who isn’t really all that redeemed by the end of the story.
It is a sort of nice “coming of age story” and for hard core fans of NA romance/YA romance – you might love this, but I didn’t.
I’ll give it 3 of 5 stars (a little generously) because it is a tough genre and it wasn’t awful, but I don’t really recommend it.
(I think, when compared to books like Superhero by Eli Easton, it just didn’t tick the right boxes for me. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18192707-superhero)