Genre: LGBTQ/Coming of Age/Literary Fiction
“In the lull between the conservative ’50s and the turbulent ’60s, Kyle Ryan Quinn, an introspective, sentimental boy, leads a golden life. He’s rich, beautiful and smart, and he vacations each year on the same island with the same circle of friends: entitled Adonis Trent; acerbic Claudia; practical Dana; and frivolous Carly. Haunted by the ghosts of a tragedy that took place in his youth, Kyle is more sensitive than his privileged friends. He understands loss, and secrets.
When he meets Jack Averill, a quiet, bookish boy, his fateful 18th summer on the island, Kyle falls hopelessly, heedlessly in love. As he befriends and attempts to woo Jack — and tries to integrate him into his tight-knit yet troubled circle — he’s pursued himself by another summer boy, Trey, who will stop at nothing to win Kyle’s love, all while Trent toys with the affections of an island girl. Amid mounting familial, sexual and peer pressures, all four young men make heartbreaking decisions that will steal their innocence, destroy lives and consume them forever.”
Harker Jones grew up in Michigan where he writes movie scripts and is the book reviews editor for a literary journal. For more check out his Facebook page.
I find that reading books that allow me to vicariously experience what it would be like to live in someone else’s shoes, specifically someone that is not like me, helps me to understand others better which should help make me a better person. I’ve never gone through the main struggle that Kyle, the protagonist of this book did. I imagine someone who has experienced that struggle would benefit from reading this, both understanding that others have the same struggle and also contrasting how much worse I imagine it would have been during the time this book takes place.
Curiously I did struggle to believe or accept one part of Kyle’s story. As the book’s description makes clear, Kyle comes from an extremely well-to-do family. That they have a “summer home” on a relatively remote island where they summer every year and that Kyle is able to afford some of the things he does in the last part of the book really drove that home and was one aspect that I sometimes struggled to suspend my disbelief. Looking back, I realize that it just shows that money helps, but doesn’t cure every issue. On balance this was an enjoyable and enlightening read.
Some adult language and some adult situations.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words