I’ve been stalling on writing this review because this book gave me so many thoughts and feels that I don’t think I can even articulate them. But I also need to tell everyone to read it, so I’ll give it my best shot.
Giles and Aaron meet at a high school party in the laundry room. Aaron is the dark-haired dreamboat hiding from the crowd because he gets crippled by loneliness and depression. Giles is the goofy-looking guy avoiding a gay bashing from some jock looking to blame and shame. Giles offers to help Aaron escape, and then he takes Aaron to a drive-thru for food. This is all narrated by Aaron, and his reaction to someone being so sweet and nice is just heartbreaking. They have a sexual encounter by a lake — Aaron’s first — and then Giles drives Aaron home.
From that, Aaron realizes that he’s gay, and he decides to follow Giles to college because he’s too shy to contact him through Facebook. Aaron’s hesitant hope will twist you up. Unfortunately, because Aaron was so quiet after their tryst, Giles assumes that he’s like all the other hookups who will now want to beat Giles up. So Giles tries to move on.
Then they’re at college. It’s a small school, and they see each other, and Giles gives off a glaring, “Stay away because I don’t want you to beat me up and/or ruin this for me” vibe, and poor Aaron is lost. He’s rescued by a girl who drags him to a musical audition, where it turns out that Aaron’s some musical prodigy with a voice of an angel, and he’s instantly in with the super-cool a cappella group. That’s right, it’s all about music.
Giles plays the violin, so they cross paths a lot. Aaron tries to get over Giles, and Giles starts to think that maybe Aaron doesn’t hate him after all. They work on a musical project together, and if you just die over lingering glances, brief touches, and unrequited love, then get your casket now because you will just die. I can’t even.
Let me mention the magical support network. Aaron is friends with Walter (from Love Lessons), and Walter is such a great friend and father figure and perfect individual, saving Aaron from his dark moments. The a cappella group is full of happy, friendly, mostly-gay boys. The music professors are thoughtful and supportive. It’s almost unbelievably happy, but it makes up for Aaron’s seriously messed-up home life and freaky father. Even Giles’s dad will make you cry because he’s so awesome. After you cry because Aaron’s dad sucks so much.
This book covers a lot of ground and a lot of issues. It features a scary churchy roommate, a super-gay wedding, and musical genius. Giles has this fantasy future where Aaron composes all day and Giles stays nearby to provide him with sandwiches, coffee, and sex. All he wants is to keep Aaron happy. I mean, come on!
I loved the scope of this novel, the ground it covered, the relationships that it formed. I loved Giles and I super-loved Aaron. I loved seeing them happy together, and sad together, and playing music together. The moment when they finally admit their feelings to each other… it’s the best. So sweet and romantic I can’t even form words.
This is the first male/male romance I’ve read, and I read it because I heard so much about the emotion and the romance. It so delivered. I’m a puddle of goo. Go read this book and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Heidi Cullinan
Release Date: September 30, 2014