Dreams and Expectations (Before… and After #4) by Susan Laine

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents



At what point are differences irreparable?

Tom McAllister and Nick Corwin have always had a comfortable friendship, even though Nick is a Native American webcomic artist and Tom’s father is a rigid Christian. But they’re about to discover growing up means more challenges than choosing a college major. It might mean making decisions that change pivotal relationships—or sever them.

When a bully confronts Tom and Nick and a dark, unsettling aspect of Tom emerges, Nick is shaken enough to end their friendship. As both young men struggle to balance their own dreams with the expectations of their families—both in terms of career and faith—they recognize the emptiness that parting ways has left in their lives. But when reconciliation leads to confessions that might mean something more than friendship between them, will it make their path easier to navigate or more difficult?



Review: I’m not a big fan of YA stories – the protagonists are usually too emotional, immature for my taste. However, this story has made me change my tune – it was so good!

Nick and Tom have been best friends forever. Nick is beginning to realise that he may be in love with his best friend, when some kids find both of them together and call them the F word. Tom’s reaction gives Nick pause – he wonders if Tom could accept him being gay. In the meantime, Tom has to deal with an ultra-religious father, who disparages other religions and doesn’t seem to care for his son.

What I loved about the story is that both Tom and Nick talked things through, avoiding misunderstandings and unnecessary angst. As an added bonus, Tom stood up to his dad which was a mature thing to do.

Overall, the story was great. Ms. Laine is new to me, but I will be looking for more of her books.


4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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