Title: Dumb Jock
Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: 2nd Edition
Dumb Jock: Book One
Jeff Irwin is short, timid, and studious. A bit of a social outcast, he lives quietly in the shadows of the popular kids at his school, his life ruled by his ever-present fear of rejection or failure.
Enter high school football hero Brett Willson and the chance for Jeff to embark upon the challenge of educating the world’s dumbest jock.
But what develops between Brett and Jeff proves far more challenging than any tutoring session. In 1983, rural Michigan isn’t ready to embrace love between two men, never mind two teenage boys. If they’re going to make a go of it, Jeff will have to come out of his shell—and Brett will have to prove he’s more than just a dumb jock.
First Edition published by Xlibris, February 2009.
Review: Well, it’s been awhile since I read my last Jeff Erno’s book, and I kind of forgot how emotional his writing is. Dumb Jock is not different. You have to be in the right mindset to be able to enjoy the angst he usually sets his books in.
On one hand, Dumb Jock has a semi-autobiographical setting. Some of the events in the book are part of the author’s real life. Other events are fiction.
I feel like I should write two reviews for this book, one for the autobiographical story, that if I’m being honest, I don’t much care about. And, of course, the fact that there were 100 pages too many to this book, descriptions and ramblings that added nothing to the story itself.
The other review should focus on the the story about a 14 year old discovering, learning and accepting who he is.
We also have a 14 year old having sex with a 17 year old that didn’t feel so consensual at times. It wasn’t rape, not at all. But the power balance in the relationship was nonexistent.
So if I have to review on the relationship alone, it felt uncomfortable to read at points, even when the author cleverly turned that power difference into a submissive tendency for Jeff (the MC) without going into it too deep.
Does it change my feelings about the underage sex to know that they end up together? I guess it just gives me peace of mind, but the reality of underage sex is still there. And the fact that it felt like Brett was taking advantage of the adoration Jeff had for him remains.
The basis of the setting had me waiting all the time for the other shoe to drop, as people say. Knowing that it was a nerd and a jock, I was expecting the worst out of the story. But thankfully it didn’t happen.
There was some heartache, as I said Mr. Erno knows how to make his readers cry, but it was resolved and both characters came out of it stronger.
The nerd, Jeff, learned about who he really was and how he wanted to live his life. He had to grow up very fast and in a very hard way, but he did it and finally realized how strong he really was.
Brett, the jock, found himself. And was able to embrace his feelings and be strong enough to face everyone who was forcing him to live a lie and be true to himself.
The journey of these two young men was a sweet one, a very emotional one. One that was truly worthy.
Reviewed by Connie
Posted on September 3, 2013, in Connie and tagged Bullies, C List, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Connie, DSP, Finding Yourself, First Love, Football, Friends to Lovers, High School, historical, Jock, Michigan, Nerd, Parents, Series, Small Town, Tutoring, Young Love. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.