Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 204 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: In 1996, Jake Stewart is starting his third year at the University of New Hampshire. Even as a successful business major, he is absolutely miserable. Not only is Jake pursuing a field he hates when he’d rather study art, he is utterly terrified of what will happen if his father finds out he’s gay. When he finally gets up the courage to move into the creative arts dorm on campus, his new roommate, Danny, is openly gay—and there’s no denying the attraction between them.
Danny Sullivan has been out since high school, and he appears comfortable with his sexuality. But something happened in Danny’s past—something that gives him nightmares he refuses to talk about. Unknown to Jake, the way he mistreated his friend, Tom Langois, when Tom came out to him in high school, is mild compared to the way someone very much like Jake treated Danny.
It may be too late to fix the mess Jake made with Tom, but if Jake wants to be with Danny, he’s going to have to fix the mess made by another closeted jock he’s never even met.
Review: College coming out stories always make me nervous. I have zero real life points of reference and a lot of them seem over the top and pretty obnoxious. So when I opened this one up, on Nina’s recommendation, I was pleasantly surprised. Enchanted even.
Jake is nervous. He is a strong guy who loves sports, the outdoors, and sketching. His family has caused him to hide the most precious parts of himself, from his art to him being gay. He pushed himself to try and get into the arty dorm, part rebellion from his father and part wanting to be around creative people even if he would be unable to live his life embracing his creativity.
Danny looks like an easy going piano player, but his past is riddled in pain. He opens his arms to Jake and slowly opens his heart also. He is compassionate, fun, open, and completely bottled up.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the healing process these two young men went through. Jake was shy, insecure, and afraid of his own shadow. And then we got to see him bloom. He opened up, made friends, drew, loved, and healed. Danny went through a similar transformation. He learned to trust, to laugh, to leave the safety of his comfort zone and in the end he also was given the opportunity to heal.
This has fun moments, and I laughed during some of the college antics. It also has beautifully written depth and I cried during some of the more tender moments.
A great read and one I will recommend if you need a sweet and fun hurt/comfort story.
Reviewed by Beans
Posted on August 25, 2014, in Beans and tagged 1990’s, 1996, a haunting past, Acceptance, Antics, Art, Artists, Athlete, B List, Beans, Best Friends, Changes, Choices, Closeted, College Students, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Crazy Family, Dorms, DSP, Family, Finding Yourself, First Love, Friendship, Fun, Funny, Healing, Heartwarming, Hiding, Homophobia, Hope, Hurt/Comfort, Loss, Love, Making a New Life, Making Your Own Family, New Hampshire, Nightmares, Out and Proud, Parental Pressure, Parental Rejection, Piano Player, romance, Roommates, Screwing Up, Second Chances, Secrets, Shy, Sketching, Sweet, Traumatic Past. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.