Author: Gene Gant
Genre: M/M Contemporary/ Young Adult
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (May 15, 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school’s basketball team. He’s a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life has become a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe’s serial cheating. Kyle’s parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him.
Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents’ lives. He likes Stephanie, his father’s girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother’s handsome boyfriend, Reece. As Kyle struggles with his fear and frustration, he grows angrier and more erratic.
Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn’t solve all Kyle’s problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle’s harried life. But Dwight’s life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight—and about his father.
Review: Thunder in His Head is a coming of age story about Kyle’s struggles to deal with growing up, being gay, and falling in love. In the beginning of this book, I get the impression that Kyle is a little bit confused, slightly angry, and really just wants to be left alone. His parents are separated, and while his dad’s girlfriend seems to be okay, he is developing one serious crush on his mom’s boyfriend. The author does a great job of portraying Kyle’s torn emotions. He understands that his feelings for Reece are wrong, but that doesn’t stop the heart and the hormones from wanting what he shouldn’t have.
In comes Dwight, and Kyle’s life takes quite a turn. We see the relationship between Dwight and Kyle develop as a teenage romance with lots of angst, anger, and miscommunication between the two of them. Along with the relationship between Kyle and Dwight, we see the struggles of the secondary characters as well. They are all very well written and seem quite ‘real’. In fact, all of the characters in this book are very realistic. The dialogue doesn’t come off as stiff or forced at all.
At the end of the book, I felt like I had a better understanding of Kyle’s inner struggles when it came to his parents and their significant others than I did with his relationship with Dwight. I wish the book had continued on for a few more chapters to JUST focus on Dwight and Kyle.
This was a great coming of age story with realistic characters who are struggling with difficult issues and emotions.