Top positive review
“People sometimes make bad decisions, mess up pretty bad
Reviewed in India on 13 November 2017
“People sometimes make bad decisions, mess up pretty bad, but that doesn’t make them bad people.”
The story is told in two time-periods – History and Today.
History tells us how Griffin and Theo’s relationship started and ended. Griffin and Theo have practically grew up together and been friends for long. Eventually they confessed their love for each other and started dating. Theo then moved to California for college, and it was Griffin’s idea to break up. Griffin was afraid of the whole long distance relationship, but he believed that they will be back together when time is right. Meanwhile Theo met Jackson there and fell in love with him. His love for Griff never faded. They stayed friends even when Griffin hated the whole idea of Theo & Jackson together. Griffin was waiting to finish school and move to California to get back together with Theo.
The present(today) opens with Griffin losing his first love & ex-boyfriend, Theo, in a drowning accident. He is shattered when he hears the news and his world cease to exist. The whole future he’s been imaging for himself is gone forever. Grieving over Theo’s death, his OCD worsens and he has no one to turn to except Jackson, who is the only other person who can understand his heartbreak. Things get complicated when Griffin confides in Jackson. They come clean about all the secrets and guilt that they have been carrying. In order to find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with his life and to stop losing himself to his OCD, Griffin has to confront his history.
There are 4 main characters in this story. Griffin – there are so many things that I can relate to with this character, including that he cried when Cedric dies in HP series. Griff, Theo and Wade have been together for so long and they share a special bond. Jackson is another interesting character. The way people help Griff with his OCD is so heart-warming to read. I believe this is an own voices novel and it was nice to see Adam’s personality through the characters. I would love to know more about the things running in Theo’s mind. We don’t have his POV because the story is told in Griff’s. We do learn a lot about his character through others. Not my favourite out of the four. Wade is another important character I ended up loving so much. He’s mature, practical and someone who respects other’s feelings. I just love him for that. What I love about Jackson’s character is that he is so adjusting. He tries his best to make Griff feel better about his OCD. I really liked Theo’s parents so much. They were so open and welcomed his relationship. Even after Theo’s death they consider Griff and Jackson as family and ask them to move on and fall in love again. I felt that was pretty incredible.
Though I can’t speak for the accuracy of both LGBT representation and OCD, I felt all the characters felt realistic and well developed. At the end of the book there were few characters that I didn’t like as much as I liked in the beginning. I personally felt the character development was done well. They screwed up, I felt bad/disappointed but I didn’t hate them. Especially few of Griffin’s decision made me question his love but then grief makes them act in a different way.
I like the way that chapters go back and forth between History and Today. It brought about a balance and the both the stories kind of meet at some point. I’m happy that I read a book with such a positive representation. It’s a great diverse read. I liked how it did not have tropes like insta-love. The writing is so beautiful and there are about tons of quotes I enjoyed reading. Some of my fav quotes are..
Puzzles are sort of like life because you can mess up and rebuild later, and you’re likely smarter the next time around.
You’re dead and I’m the worst kind of alive.
If I can fly here for you, where will I go for me?
What you don’t understand, Theo, is silence is sometimes better than someone speaking before they’re ready. This is how lies slip out.
This is a beautiful story in a messed up way. It is heart-breaking and am sure you will end up crying your eyes out after reading this. I highly recommend it. This is a story about friendship, love, heart-break, grief, self-discovery and passion – and a really good one.