There are three main characters in this story, but the primary POV is Flynn’s, a 16 year old closeted gay teenager. His mother and older brother were killed in an auto accident when he was young, and he was trying to grow up without much support from his father, who was still grieving by drinking too much and being a workaholic. They seldom spoke, making Flynn lonely and confused. His next door neighbor, Zach, was four years older, yet his best friend. Zach’s family were fanatical Christians and Zach’s father beat and abused his children in the name of religion. Zach and Flynn had a kiss when Zach was 14 making Flynn know he was gay and in love with Zach. He hid this fact with everything he could to keep his best friend near and in his own way, be the place his best friend could come when beat and abused by his father.
At 16, Flynn met a boy in art class, Keith. He and Keith quickly became boyfriends with the caveat that Keith keep the secret that Flynn was gay.
Keith was out and pushed Flynn to come out, at least to Flynn’s best friend, Zach.
This story was told in the three boys’ POV. Flynn’s POV was the longest and main POV, making the story a little bit too long. The characters were well created and I really didn’t know who to root for as to who I wanted Flynn to end up with. There were a lot of ups and downs and the author brought you through all kinds of emotions as these boys grew into young men and tried to make decisions based on their small world and Flynn’s lack of parental guidance. Other than one too many conflicts and it being a little long, I enjoyed this well-written story. If you enjoy coming of age/coming out stories, I suggest you give this one a try. I really enjoyed it.
Clichés are overrated and loving the boy next door may not be as genuine as the love Flynn sacrifices along the way.
Knowing he’s gay and acting on it were two separate notions to Flynn Brewer until he’d met Keith, his first boyfriend, in high school. Before then, being gay wasn’t as real as the pain of living day-to-day. Flynn’s fear of coming out to his religious best friend Zach in their conservative community destroyed his relationship with Keith, but Flynn rationalized his avoidance and bottled up the truth until it was regrettably too late.
Zachary Mitchell was the perfect son and role model as far as the outside world could tell. Active in his church while attending college, Zach had a personality that could sell anything, do anything, or be anything. Except, he couldn’t sell the truth to himself. Just when he was ready to reveal his internal conflict to Flynn and expose the darkness lurking in his heart, and in his “perfect” family, Zach met a girl and got sucked deeper into his chasm of deception.
Caught in a living Newton’s Cradle of his own design, Flynn must choose between idealistic childhood fantasy, or a tempestuous passion that could ignite the very air he breathes.