I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Wow. I absolutely loved this book. Usually, I read fast, but this book made me want to slow down and absorb what I was reading. I didn't want it to end! Maybe it was the mood I was in that was looking for a really sweet, feel good book. I don't typically read a lot of YA books, so I am surprised at how much I loved this. I also know absolutely nothing about the German school system, and I felt that it was written well enough for me to understand it and not feel lost. The author wrote this very well in English for not having English as a first language. I never would have known from the writing.
Marcel was the smart kid in school who got bullied by Tim because Nicholas (Tim's friend) didn't like Marcel. Tim was Nicholas' brute, and was failing out of school. He was older (had to repeat years a couple of times) and had the school nickname "Dumb". When Tim gets caught punching Marcel in school one day, the administrator is about to kick him out of school. Marcel feels bad at seeing Tim's reaction to it and agrees to tutor him so he can finish school.
We see right from the beginning how big of a heart Marcel has, and we learn very quickly that what we see on the surface of Tim is very little of who he is. Tim has so much guilt about his bullying of Marcel and has trouble believing that Marcel could forgive him, let alone like him. His struggle was so touching to read. I loved watching Tim grow and I loved watching Marcel guide him and remind him that he is not dumb and that he deserves happiness.
These guys go from enemies to acquaintances to friends to lovers, and every step of the process is filled with love and encouragement and hope. I was glad to read an epilogue that takes place 8 years later that tells how they struggled together as they went out on their own (together of course), but also how they persevered and were made stronger because of it all.
(review of free book)