Title: Changing Jamie
Author: Dakota Chas
Length: Novel (189pgs)
Publisher: Torquere Press (September 2008)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts
First published 13th June 2008 by Prizmbooks
Blurb: Jamie’s pretty much your average gay teenager. He’s not out with his folks, he’s got a crush on a fellow high school athlete, and his life isn’t perfect. It’s a good thing he has his friend, Billy, to take his mind off things, and to show him that all things are possible.
Billy seems to be all Jamie isn’t. Billy’s openly gay, he has enough money to follow fashion trends, and he’s got dates all the time. Lots of them. With older men. When Billy starts acting weird and hiding things from him, Jamie’s whole life seems to tilt off its axis.
His stepfather, who has never been the greatest role model, escalates his behavior until Jamie dreads going home. His English teacher assigns him tutoring sessions with the object of his crush, the gorgeous track star Dylan. Jamie’s not even sure he can talk to Dylan, let alone tutor him, but it’s impossible to talk to Billy about it. Billy’s too wrapped up in a very dangerous game they call bug chasing: trying to catch HIV.
Learning about Billy’s risk-taking nearly shatters their friendship, and forces Jamie to look at the world in a whole new way. Can Jamie try to keep Billy safe and still stay on top of homework, a new boyfriend, and keeping his step-father in line?
Purchase Link: http://www.prizmbooks.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=20
Review: I know this is an old story but sometimes you have to revisit a story that you really enjoy. Jamie is 17yrs old and has a massive crush on Dylan. His best friend Billy is acting a little strange and his step-dad is on this earth to make his life miserable.
Jamie has a lot on his plate as he struggles with his best friend’s actions; Dylan confessing to him and trying to get his mom to see what a waste of space his step-dad is. When Jamie hunts for Billy, Dylan offers to help him out. When Jamie finds out the truth behind Billy’s actions and is devastated, Dylan is there to offer comfort and support. When Dylan confesses why he is there for him, Jamie is over the moon. Jamie comes across as a young man who might not be the best at everything. Who might struggle in some areas but he knows who he is and although he hides it a lot, he knows he does and he really doesn’t believe that he is something he isn’t.
Dylan is a dumb jock or rather that’s what he wants people to believe. When he gets a chance to spend time with Jamie he grabs it with both hands. It’s not easy as he works through what he wants but when he nearly loses Jamie he decides that he can face anything if he’s with Jamie. Dylan comes across as slightly privileged but not full of himself and he seems to be a genuine young man who does think of others, although he struggles with what to do he isn’t stupid in what he says or his actions.
Billy is one screwed up young man. He thinks he’s in love and will do anything to be with that man; even if it means giving up his life. He hides what he is doing from Jamie and deserts Jamie when he realizes that Jamie just doesn’t understand that he is now truly happy… that is until reality sets in. Billy seems to be desperate to belong and completely screws up his life in the process. But when he turns to Jamie, Jamie is there to help him and advise him no matter how badly Billy acted or treated Jamie. True best friends.
This is a really well written story about young men who are finding themselves and making mistakes, but it is also about facing up to their actions and realizing that that it isn’t only them who are allowed to make mistakes. Some parts of this book had me laughing; some nearly crying and some filled me with pure joy. There are two scenes that I really loved and both of them took place at the school. They filled me with hope that somewhere, at some time, more people will act like this and it will become an everyday occurrence.
This is a perfect Y/A romance that I have to recommend you read if you already haven’t because it is wonderful.