What a terrific debut novel! This is the story of a boy with a history of HEAVY abuse and the author slowly exposes every one of his many torments. But we also witness how he finds true comfort for the very first time in his adult life.
We meet Trey at 20, he has escaped his step-father and managed to attend university for a couple of years now, but he's still hurting, still turning tricks. And it's not clear where he's going. Especially if you're like me and never pay much attention to the blurb.
Was it depressing? I guess. One of Trey's usual matter of fact assessments of his life sounds like this: "He could get as rough as he wanted since he couldn't really hurt me. Anything he might do, or could think of for that matter, had already been done to me."
It's dark and super-realistic, though. It's also brutal and hoffific, although we "only" experience the abuse through nightmares and short flashbacks. However, the story never felt outright bleak or hopeless (unlike others, i.e. [b:Angel|16071177|Angel|Cyma Rizwaan Khan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1352194747s/16071177.jpg|21864978]). Instead, it made me very angry at the sick bastards who mindlessly set out to destroy a young boy. It's not everyday that an author can evoke these emotions.
And the book tells a love story, too, that will eventually provide some healing for Trey: "I didn't itch, I wasn't shaking, and my mind was in a bright place."
I hope the author keeps going, because this was a very promising start. Not alsways a smooth ride, sometimes the writing is a bit on the clumsy side (and there are some typos). I didn't like that we're told about 20 times how Trey experiences sth for the very first time (desire, safety). That could have been handled smoother. Also, there are some inconsistencies, but oh well. It's still much better than what's usually out there.