“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
Every once in a while you read a book that touches something inside of you. It makes your heart sing, it makes your heart break and then it puts it back together again. Memorizing You took my heart hostage from the moment David and Ryan met.
David was an awkward young man and that was before he realized he was “different”. You see David didn’t get that tingle in his belly when he looked at girls. No, that only happened when he was looking at the boys in his class. Once he got to high school, he believed he would have to hide this from everyone. So what was a boy to do? That’s right, time to get a girlfriend. Eventually this situation goes south, and David feels so guilty about it he swears it won’t happen ever again. He just can’t believe he hurt someone so bad by trying to cover up his own truth.
On the heels of his failed attempt to be “normal”, David happens to meet Ryan while drumming up new clients for his lawn care business. The two boys become fast friends and eventually much, much more. David helps Ryan with his school work, and Ryan helps David with his workouts. During this time, Ryan shares his big secret with David: he’s gay. David is awed by Ryan’s trust and soon he comes clean about his own truth with Ryan. The two boys fall in love and it has to be one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. There weren’t any grand gestures or huge declarations, just a beautiful slow process that we all dreamed of when we were young.
Unfortunately for the two, Ryan’s father seemed to be trying to relive his youth through his son. Ryan was going to play football, he was going to get a scholarship, and nothing and no one would stand in the way of that, including David. Ryan and David did everything they could to stay together and with the surprising support of David’s parents, Ryan’s mom, and most of the students at school, they made it work.
When the bomb went off, it was nothing like what I was expecting. After forbidding Ryan from seeing David, Ryan’s dad catches them together. What transpires from there changes the path of life for both boys in ways that ripped my heart from my chest and had me crying, and I do mean UGLY crying. We all know now, as adults, that life must go on. Imagine learning that at age 18. Your whole future is there in front of you, all opportunity there for the taking, but it all slips away in a matter of minutes.
The last few chapters of the book document the life of a man just going through the motions. A man barely existing. To see this vibrant, intelligent man living a half-life is heartbreaking. He has friends, he has family, he has a business, but he is missing his happiness. Thankfully the author gives us a glimmer of hope at the end of the book. Perhaps we could twist an arm or a leg to get another book to see the HEA I know I was hoping for.
I will say to you all, this is not your typical love story. There really is no HEA, but it also isn’t a sad ending. There is hope and at the end of the day, I think that is all any of us can wish for. I know I am being a little vague on the details, but I can’t give it all away now, can I?
In my opinion this is a must read book! If you miss this one, you are missing something special.
Reviewed by: Jackie