The year is 1973 and Shawn Stuart just turned fifteen. He and his life-long friend Brad de Vries struggle through High School together.
Shawn lives a typical high school life: going to classes, project partner, school dance, girlfriend, first kiss, first hook-up, getting drunk, getting dared into things he normally wouldn't do... the list goes on. Oh, and he also goes through a turmoil of emotions as he struggles to identify his feelings towards certain individuals.
However, Shawn is not the only one having a difficult time with his feelings. Brad has been going through those feelings and emotions for a very long time.
What could those feelings be? Will they ever be resolved? I know the answer but I'm not one to give away massive spoilers. Read and find out!
Overall, I fully enjoyed this book and it's one of the very best I've read this year. Author Shawn Wesley Ballenger described a typical high school life perfectly for 1973. Got all the types of characters from the jocks to the nerds to the stuck-up snobs. The inner turmoil of main character Shawn is heart-wrenching and spot-on. You can literally feel every emotion, hear every thought, groan in exasperation right when the character does so. So much passion and heart put into each character!
This book is well researched for the era, using proper terms and lingo, and popular music of the time.
One thing to note is that this is 1973, so there are depictions of minors doing alcohol, weed, and cigarettes. There is also mentions of sex but nothing is shown in this book aside from kissing, to keep in line with the Young Adult genre. Due to the nature of some themes, I would recommend this for older teens, specifically those in High School.
Many adults will also enjoy this book. There's something quite fascinating reading a Gay High School YA book set in past years, especially the 70s. Many things were different, but many things were the same. Teenagers being teenagers, studies, music, vacation, figuring out who they are, who they like, dances, dates, kissing... no matter the era, all those basic things remain the same!
I truly love this book! Thank you!
(reviewed the day of purchase)