Title: All that is Solid Melts into Air
Series: The Lives of Remy and Michael, #2
Author: Christopher Koehler
Length: Novel (316 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Jan 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: I thought life after high school would be easier. I’d go to California Pacific for a year while I got a handle on my HIV, then after Michael graduated from high school, we’d blast out of here for colleges—and life—on the East Coast. Then I visited Boston and everything changed. I realized I like CalPac. Turns out, Boston didn’t have anything for me beyond one of the biggest regattas in North America.
Life grew more complicated when I got home. I couldn’t find a way to tell Michael that I’d just blown our plan for our lives out of the water. Then my CalPac coaches dropped a bomb on me. Those rowing officials who’d been watching me? They were recruiters for the national team, and my coaches wanted me to try out. They’d even let Lodestone coach me. Now I have to choose, school or crew, CalPac or Michael, and I still haven’t told Michael I can’t transfer.
Is there even a place for Michael in my life? Somehow we have to withstand training at the highest levels and having different goals.
Will love hold us together… or tear us apart?
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7344
Review: All that is Solid and Melts into Air is the second book to Christopher Koehler’s The Lives of Remy and Michael Series.
I absolutely loved the first instalment and stepping back and looking at the big picture, this really is the perfect sequel, although as I will outline, it is not without a few flaws. This is an intensely realistic view of a young guy who is just starting college, has a boyfriend still in high school and is looking forward to the future with stars in his eyes, despite having his own fair share of personal troubles and upheavals.
If you haven’t read book 1, Poz, go back and read it. It is essential to understanding the overall plotline of the series.
I’m going to recap the characters using what I wrote in my review of the first book. Quite honestly, since this is a story that is directly continued from the first, the same information is still very relevant to the lives of the main characters.
Remy, real name Jeremy (aka Germy to his brother), has a twin brother, Geoff (aka Goff) along with his mother and father, who is also a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist part is important in terms of Remy’s father because he is so oblivious when it comes to one of his sons (Remy) but more attentive when it comes to the other (Geoff)
. It just shows that Remy comes from a normal, ever so slightly dysfunctional family where parents aren’t some sort of oracle that knows everything. Remy isn’t a jock but he is a champion rower and that being said he is being scouted for college and championship teams. He is gay but no longer in the closet. Book 1 saw Remy deal with contracting HIV, and in this story we continue on to see how he is getting along in terms of therapy, relationships and continuing his rowing career.
Remy’s boyfriend is Michael. He’s still in high school but the two guys have plans together. They are very sweet together – but I don’t want to go into their relationship too much more and spoil the book. Other important and interesting characters include Remy’s team mates, including Robbie and Kevin.
Then there are the coaches, Lodestone and Pendergast. We have something of a villain in Remy’s roommate Brady, who I would have liked a bit more from.
Remy is still the narrator the story. Once again, though, I would have liked to know more POVs from other characters but honestly the style of story teller suits this story really well and makes it feel more humanised rather than just reading about a young gay sportsman.
However, in saying that, this book is a lot of telling by Remy. There is not really a heck of a lot of dialogue and that meant that there were times that the story did drag a lot. I found it particularly slow going for the first third of the book. This is the only reason why I’ve given the book 4/5.
If you read the blurb and it has drawn you in – that’s great because this book does not come with any plot lines that come out of nowhere. This is a very real story of a teen navigating his world through life. It is realistic and sometimes a difficult read but enjoyable from start to finish.
One thing that I like to end on is the title – All that is Solid Melts into Air. I love it; it is rather philosophical and absolutely perfect for the feel of the entire book. It also reminds me of a line from the Japanese anime Fruits Basket: “When the snow melts, what does it become?” The answer is “spring, of course”.
But when all is said and done, I do wonder if Christopher Koehler has anything else in mind for world of the CalPac rowers.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *