"I want to have adventures with you. I want more."
One snowy day in the woods, 17 years old Reid catches Everett "wanking in a winter wonderland"
. This is the fairy tale beginning of Reid getting to know "another boy by his gestures, his sound, his taste [...] and to dive headfirst into another world of clumsy, passionate and impulsive acts."
Other reviewers already pointed out how wonderful and wild the MCs are together, how sweet and tender the story is (if you need some fluff minus the angst, here it is), how funny at times, and how this is later contrasted with the horrific reality of an accident and its consequences: "The truth was, I had begun to consider whether I had to let him go, and if so, how to do that."
So what made it special for me?
Definitely how the story deals with nature (Reid describes himself as a nature perv) and the beautiful language that comes with it. And because the book is so open and honest about a lot of things, it's also pretty explicit for a teen romance and - have I mentioned it already? - so sooo funny. So let's combine the fun and the sex:
Everett: "Mmm. Cream of Reid."
Or Reid: "I wanted to say how something so clearly human endeared him to me even more, but I guessed it would hardly be romantic to compliment his farting."
The writing style might seem strange at times, the author has a thing for starting a scene backwards which messes with the sequence of things. And it's true, that the first part of the book would benefit from less description and more dialogue/action. But it doesn't matter, because then, a paragraph of three lines packs a punch:
"Well, I love you like I want to."
- "Just go home. We'll talk later."
We didn't, for three months."
And for a coming of age story, not many of the usual plot lines made an appearance. Instead, we meet the boys when they've already figured out what they want. And the story focuses much more on their interactions and on the choices they have to make. Also, the secondary characters are fantastic!
Meet Everett's father:"So, you're bringing a case for the right to...make out with my son with scientific evidence? That's certainly a bit more dry than that jerk who asked for Holly's hand in marriage."
Or Reid's mum: "On special nights, hams appeared topped with pineapples and pink cherries, or roasts were adorned with amusingly trimmed potatoes. It wasn't until I'd dined at boyhood friends' homes that I realized such meals weren't a joke to other people."
I'm afraid the cover doesn't help this book much. I would have loved a Ryan McGinley
type photo of two naked bums in snowy woods. Maybe for the next edition?