Author: Sam Kadence
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Length: Novel (184pgs)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (15th August 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Ryunoski “Ru” Nakimura knows all about the trappings of fame. Expelled from a boy band for coming out as gay, he still wants to continue his career in music. Too bad his ex finds nothing better to do than exploit their relationship in the press, so Ru leaves California behind to lie low in Minnesota for a while.
Adam Corbin attends a Minnesota high school and wants to coast through as a typical student. He’s friends with an openly gay student, Bas Axelrod, but while Adam plays football, he also stays away from much socializing. Blending in and not outing himself has been easy because he’s never really been seriously interested in any of the guys he’s encountered.
When Adam meets Ru in a library, Adam begins to think he’s found that special young man who might make it worthwhile to just be himself. And for Ru, Adam looks like someone he might trade his fame for, if they could be together. Ru and Adam will both come to realize that courage and love must go hand in hand if they are to have a future.
Review: Ru is seventeen and already knows the pitfalls of fame. As a member of a boy band, he was dumped by his band and his record company when his then lover outed him. Ru is in Minnesota to lay low, while he writes songs for his solo career and comes across a beautiful young man in a library. A young man who doesn’t know who he is and makes him feel like the teenager he really is. Adam is sixteen and is perfectly happy to keep his head down and coast through school. when he meets a gorgeous young man in the library, he is both scared and excited and finally seizes the chance to be his true self with another person. Both young men come to realize, that to be together they need courage and love.
This story is amazing. It isn’t the usual rock-star story, but a story of two teenagers who have grown up in different surroundings and finding a youthful love. Ru has been through some difficult times, since he was outed. Hounded by the media, his ex living off the fame, and the only friend he really has is Tommy his ex-band mate. When he meets Adam, he falls for the wonderful boy and tries to spend as much time getting to know him as he can. At the same time, keeping hidden his fame. Adam knows the truth of being gay where he lives, he has seen his friend Bas badly beaten after he came out and Adam is scared to death of the same thing happening to him, if anyone found out. Meeting Ru has him being himself, he discovers more confidence in himself, and when he is outed himself, he confronts his bullies head on.
I was so impressed with this story that I re-read it immediately after I finished it. and I still loved every word in it. This story is so much more than just two young men meeting and falling in love. it’s about the family and support you have and the friends who are true friends. It’s about finding the courage to hold your head up high, in spite of the insults and abuse. And that no matter what your positions in life, bullies are still bullies. We feel drawn to the boys in this story as we get to know them and their fears. we see how they become confident and how they rely on each other for support. The supporting characters are wonderful, with Tommy being the big brother that Ru desperately needs and Bas being an incredible role model and friend to Adam.
There are many things in this story that will tug at your heart. not least of which is Bas’ speech that will hit you in the heart and bring tears to your eyes. The story is wonderfully written. The storyline is interesting and holds your attention. but, it is the characters and what they are going through that makes you love this book. The fear, depression, anger, hope, love, joy, understanding, and confidence are just some of the emotions that Ru and Adam experience and you experience it with them.
I have absolutely no choice but to recommend that everyone read this. And if you know a young gay man or a support group then donate a copy because this story might just give them hope that they are not alone.