Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend’s jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.
Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn’t the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.
Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he’s bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…
Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good.
I’m not sure how to convey my thoughts for this book. It was a cute read and it had many elements (I will explain below) that I really liked, but it just did not convince me. I gave it 3 stars on GR so it was not bad (not at all) but I felt like the romance was too rushed and you couldn’t connect with the characters enough for you to like them or understand their love.
What kind of life is it if you don’t let yourself experience it? If you don’t go for what you want and live how you want? If you don’t open your mouth and say what’s important and cling to those you love? Not being who you are, or saying how you feel, or fighting for what you love, not being willing to risk your heart, is losing by default.
The story follows Toby, the only black kid and gay kid of his town who grows up having a crush on his best friend’s (and only friend’s) brother. He leaves for college and experiments but when he comes back for Christmas he finds out Levi (the brother) is bisexual and then it all starts from there.
I loved about the book how it explored the relationship between Toby and his dad. It was possibly my favorite plot line, close to the one with the brothers and they made me cry a couple of times (I’m a sucker for disfunctional families in books). The diversity in the cast is also one of the strongest points of the books, the representation (although not really insightful) of bisexuality made me want to JUMP UP AND DOWN, and it is not often that you read about interracial couples so props to the author for that.
I could connect with Toby in that he was really closed off emotionally, but I felt like his thoughts were too repetitive and he could never make up his mind (hon, even I could). On the other hand, I could connect with Levi in that he was very patient until the end.
Overall, it is a cute, easy read that you will enjoy but probably won’t change your life (or maybe it will… the power of books).