Themes: M/M Romance
This was a sweet, high school gay romance. I say high school, but this takes place during the summer, although the two main protagandists are high school juniors.
The story follows two gay boys, Tommy and Nick, each dealing with a lot of issues, including death, and disfunctional families.
Tommy lost his best friend and first love, a trans-boy, Chase, in a tragic accident the summer before.
And Nick is dealing with a cruel homophobic father, and a distant workaholic mother. Nick also grieving the loss of his own brother.
At first, the odds are against the two because Tommy is a local mountain boy, in rural Georgia. And Nick is from a wealthy family and is visiting the town, staying in his family’s luxury holiday home for the summer.
Tommy and many of the local residents have issues with the rich tourists who come to stay at their summer homes, and bring with them their sense of entitlement and superiority.
The locals even have a name for them; the “Outsiders.”
But soon enough both young guys manage to see past the superficialities, and find something alluring in each other.
There’s plenty of similarities and cliches with other stories in this genre. Although there’s a lot that sets it apart too. It was refreshing to see some trans representation, which, even in LGBT stories, isn’t as common as you might think. Especially one that’s not just a minor character role.
While Chase is dead before the story begins, he’s still very much a part of it, appearing as Tommy’s conscience throughout the story.
Goodreads rating: 4.0
Mike’s rating 3.8 (story 4.0. Audio book 3.5)
Page count: 394