Author: Gene Gant
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (May 23rd, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Crushing on your straight best friend will make any normally outgoing high school football player withdraw from his friends. Unrequited love can do that to you. But when Dwight Varley’s mom dies, he’s also left with a burden of guilt he finds difficult to shake. To make matters worse, Dwight must cope with his distant, grieving father, who spirals into depression.
Playing it straight helps Dwight save face temporarily, but living a lie tears his insides apart. Tell his dad…. Don’t tell his dad…. Some choices seem too hard to make. Besides, what if coming out sends his dad over the edge?
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Review: Oh m., the emotional charge this book has is beyond words. This is the story of a fifteen year old boy who is realizing that the feelings he has for his best friend are more than brotherly… and they are not going away. We view this story entirely from his perspective. We are inside his mind and soul, and I can’t stop thinking how perfectly the puberty phase is captured and described. The way Dwight shuts his emotions deeply inside him, the way he tries not to even think about what’s going on with his sexuality, yet never able to truly escape it is incredible. And heartbreaking.
And as if his life isn’t already messed up in all those crazy emotions, he is burdened with the loss of his mother. with the guilt that he caused his mother’s death,( that is simply a distorted notion in his head), and with a father that dives head first into depression, Dwight’s entire world keeps sinking and the way his emotions are described can’t feel more real for me. It is almost unbearable witnessing how scared and powerless this kid is. It is gut wrenching when he eavesdrops on his father telling his best friend about his dead wife’s suspicions of Dwight being gay and how he would rather have no son. And it’s downright soul-shattering witnessing this young child feeling the guilt of letting down his father, thus trying to be straight for him.
I loved this book, really did, even though there were instances that it hurt too much reading it. Even though I got too attached to the character and thus too invested, experiencing many feelings on his behalf, or perhaps due to all these reasons, I found it brilliant. I think this book addressed so many issues and problems teenagers face nowadays and with a gorgeous writing skill. I even loved how things turned out in the near end. The fact that they went even worse, the fact that it had my jaw hanging there thinking that, come on, life can’t be crueler to this kid. It was just too damn realistic and I’m a sucker for all that. My one and only disappointment was the very way this book ended. I felt as if it was too abrupt, or as if there is a whole new story there to follow. I simply wish there is a sequel to this book, because damn I didn’t get a closure from this one.
So heads up, this is not a HEA or a HFN, this is downright life-sucks-reality and while a brilliant work, keep in mind you’ll get too emotional reading this book. If, however, you are like me and in need of some serious slap in the face story, with no happy endings there because life isn’t always fun and games, then I suggest you read this one. Totally worth it.