Title: Kevin Corrigan and Me
Author: Jere’ M. Fishback
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 160 Pages
Category: Young Adult
At a Glance: I wanted to like this one more. Sadly, it lacked the emotional depth and maturity I was looking for.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Ever since their boyhood days, fifteen-year-old Jesse has craved something more than friendship from Kevin Corrigan. Athletic, handsome and cocky, Kevin doesn’t seem approachable. But when Kevin spends a summer at Jesse’s family’s beach home, an affair ignites between them, one so intense it engulfs both boys in an emotional tug of war neither wants to give up on.
Review: I really love YA books. And, coming-of-age stories can be especially poignant. Unfortunately, I have super mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, Kevin Corrigan and Me was a pretty good story; some of it felt like genuine thoughts and actions that teenage boys might have. But, on the other hand, I had a tough time with both the writing style and my almost constant desire to strangle two of the main characters. So…there’s that. Heh, heh. Bottom line is, there were a few things that felt real, and that made me become somewhat invested in Jesse, and one character who I thoroughly enjoyed—Lane, who was sort of a third main character—but, overall, I was disappointed.
Out of the two main characters, I definitely liked Jesse more. Jesse was a self-described ‘gentle boy’ with low self-esteem, who, as a teenager, finds himself desperately in love with his best friend, Kevin. The summer that Kevin came to stay with Jesse’s family, when they were fourteen and fifteen, was a very important and transitional summer for Jesse. Until that summer, Jesse and Kevin were just friends, but afterward, everything changed.
…Kevin had added a new dimension to my life that summer; he had helped me discover the real Jesse. He had validated my existence by making me feel desirable and special…
Unfortunately, Kevin also had the power to negate all of those positive changes and feelings. And, he did. Over and over.
I’ve gotta be honest…I spent most of the book trying to figure out what Jessa saw in Kevin. What they saw in each other, really. Jesse kept letting himself get used and treated terribly by Kevin, always putting more stock in Kevin’s feelings for him than was warranted. And, even though I thought his indignation was valid, Jesse came off as extreeeeemely whiny and needy so much of the time. Kevin did have a pretty unhappy home life, perhaps lending some explanation to some of his selfish behavior. But, he only made himself vulnerable, or acted like he wanted to be with Jesse when it suited him or he had nothing else going on. Simply put, he acted like a total jerk, time and time again, and Jesse kept hanging on. Until he met Lane.
Lane was possibly the only character in the book who I truly liked. He and Jesse met during an extracurricular activity they were doing with the boys’ service club they both belonged to. It turned out they shared a couple of classes at school, and had some other interests in common as well. They became good friends, which Kevin was an asshole about, and eventually more. Lane was a delight, and treated Jesse with care and respect. And he was way too understanding about the ridiculous relationship Jesse kept up with Kevin.
I became incredibly frustrated with the story on several occasions. I think I just had an issue with the writing style in general. The book was written basically as one big flashback; it was sixty-something-year-old Jesse looking back on his fifteen-year-old self. But, it didn’t sound like an adult looking back on a time in his life. It sounded like a fifteen-year-old was telling the story. And, if I never hear the phrase “my mouth got sticky” or anything to do with lips “smacking” again, it will be too soon! I just didn’t know what to do with lines like this:
Our lip-smacking was the only sound in the room. I ran my fingers through Lane’s hair while we slobbered.
I’m sorry…I wanted to like this one more. As I said, I love YA books, and I really liked the time period and setting here. But, sadly, it lacked the emotional depth and maturity I was looking for. I hope for others Kevin Corrigan and Me will be a hit. But, for me it was mostly miss.
You can buy Kevin Corrigan and Me here: