What a surprise "It's Like This" proved to be! So sweet and dirty and unexpected! Once I started it, I knew I wouldn't go to bed for hours.
This is the story about two kids in Canada who manage to start a relationship of 3 years without ever acknowledging it to each other. Niles, the narrator, fears it would all stop the moment he calls his boyfriend?/ fuck buddy? out on it: "And no matter how much I may bitch about the whole thing, I most definitely do NOT want it to go away"
"And so I never brought it up. And he never brought it up. And when things escalated with every chance that we got, I felt more and more unable to acutally talk about it."
How I loved this ingenious idea and everything that follows!
Coming from a family where talking is kept to the bare minimum, I could absolutely relate to Niles and Rylan's dilemma. Their failure to communicate over 3 years felt so very human (keep something up for long enough and you get accustomed to the weirdest things).
And Rylan, how I loved Rylan!! His apparent casualness towards it all and his command of the situation made this special. And, oh my, his dominant streak!!!"He always takes control. I like that. I've always liked that."
"Cum, sweat, spit, blood on the bedsheets. And I don't care. This power, this intensity, this enormity. This is how I want to be wanted."
What? You thought this was the usual inncent Young Adult tale? This one has more than one surprise up his sleeve. And not only is the sex kinky and just plain awesome. I also very much appreciated that the story didn't evolve around other standard YA-themes (i.e. coming out to friends and families, no confusion over sexuality, no fumbling first sex).
So Rylan was great, but I even loved Niles obsessing over his unclear relationship status (don't these kids use Facebook?).
The ending was something else. To let a book end with a marriage proposal is a tricky, tricky thing. It's easy to get it all wrong and so very hard to get it right (thank god it wasn't a public proposal). Of course Rylan does a magnificent job in getting it right.
What's not to love?
After the 50% mark the story seemed more or less over and the conflict resolved. Episodic chapters follow (good ones, however right then and there, I believe an editor could have done wonders with the story). But I can't be angry with an author who tells me midway through that I'm reading a 'plotless" story. Can't argue with so much honesty :)
All in all, this was a stellar read, no doubt about it.