Summary: It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.
Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet—and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.
What I Liked:
I was a bit late to the game on this one, it came out in 2009 but I didn’t read it until last year. I love LGBT coming of age stories, and this is perhaps one of my favorites. The characters come across as real teenagers: flawed, full of angst, stressing, making stupid choices. You name it, the book hits that point. Dade isn’t the perfect sort of hero: he’s flawed, smokes pot, and occasionally treats his friends poorly (as he himself is treated).
There was definitely a mood to the writing, creating this town that Dade inhabits that’s both superficially pleasant, and yet eeriely sad.
Then there’s the cover. I love vibrant covers, and the colors on this one always make it stand out to me. It’s simple and interesting and I love the black and orange opposition of the title.
The ending. Without giving anything away, the ending is a well-earned punch in the gut. I love when books really build up to something, and then the ending comes and it’s like the rug was pulled out from under you. The book resonates so much stronger for me because of the ending.
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