We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: m/m contemporary
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
First off I'd like to state that the problems here may be more in the eye of the beholder than in the material. Others seemed to like this a whole lot more than I did.
My main problem was figuring out what hat to wear when reading this. I generally expect a certain level of polish when reading a classic, a bit less when reading popular fiction, even less when reading M/M fiction and pretty much anything goes when reading stroke fiction. This tale was not sexy enough for me to wear my friction fiction hat, but not really interesting enough to wear my normal m/m novel reading hat, either.
In addition credibility issues bothered me throughout. I didn't buy into a school that was this underpopulated by teachers, Especially a religious school attempting to reform gay students.
Why would established students be in class with orientation students?
Two students are an established couple, one rich and white, the other poor and Hispanic. This kind of school doesn't seem like it would cater to both.
The school is described as being in an old hotel, yet the new wing is a dormitory? Seems like the last thing they'd need is more bedrooms. And why two students to a room? This sounds like the kind of place that would have singles.
Monroe Michigan seemed an odd choice as the old home for the new student. I'm a Michigander born and bred... the bike in the snow scene felt weird and the town didn't feel at all realistic. Course one of the few facts that I know about Monroe is that it's the world headquarters of Lazy-Boy. I couldn't help the mental aside that perhaps the author had been too much of a lazy-boy in his setting choice.
Also, there were awkward word choices. At one point a character is said to "veer further across his desk" Not sure anyone "veers" in a desk...
Other odd word choices:
"Hint of youth and casualty" - I think he meant casualness.
"His own heart so rapidly that it felt as if it were in his throat." - I'm guessing that the writer missed a beat.
At one point there's mention of the "Dingy string of the garage door"? The character's outside opening it. huh? Never heard of a garage door with a string handle outside.
None of these are fatal flaws but they do serve to "pull the reader out" of that state of willing suspension of disbelief that's so critical to truly enjoying a story.
At 62 pages one doesn't expect much and its certainly NOT the worst thing I've ever read, but if I'd paid 2.99 for this I'd have felt cheated. When I volunteered to read and review this I kinda expected trashy and torrid. What I got wasn't really either.