Jason Miller is living his life firmly in the closet. He changes the “he” to “she” when talking to his parents about his dates and “degays” his apartment whenever someone comes over. Jason knows it is past time to come out. And he knows that his friends and family will likely accept him. But he is still terrified and just can’t make himself take that step. And despite the fact that keeping his secret is exhausting at times, he hasn’t found that motivation to finally go ahead and do it.
That is until he meets Chad Wellington at a weekend getaway with some of his friends. Chad is gorgeous and wonderful and totally into Jason. He even sought Jason out, despite knowing Jason is closeted. But Chad is an activist for gay rights and a speaker for encouraging folks to come out. He makes it clear that although he is willing to give Jason time, ultimately Jason must be out for a relationship to work between them. Jason loves Chad and doesn’t want to lose him. He knows the benefits of being with the man he loves far outweigh the potential downside of coming out. But despite what his rational mind tells him, Jason is still scared. He must decide if he is ready to take that step, or risk losing the man he loves.
First off I have to say that despite the fact this this book deals with a serious topic, it is told in a wonderfully humorous way that kept me laughing out loud and always upbeat despite the sometimes heavy subject matter. Jason is sarcastic and quippy and we are treated to his delightful inner monologue that kept me giggling throughout the book. My favorite part was early on when Jason’s drink is drugged at the house party without his knowledge. With a little Valium in his system, Jason’s already flimsy internal filter disappears with hysterical results. When Chad was still hot for him after that display, I knew the guys were made for one another.
I have read many great coming out stories but I really liked how Anything For You had a bit of a twist. In most books the hero fears coming out for specific and very real reasons and stands to lose a great deal by telling people he is gay. But here Jason knows that his risks are minimal. His sister is gay and his family accepting of her, so he has no real worry they will reject or be disappointed in him. He office is very gay friendly, including having accepted openly gay staff. He has financial security, he is an independent adult, and has lots of gay friends. And yet even though his rational mind knows he has little to risk by telling people, and knowing how much he has to gain through his relationship with Chad, the idea of coming out is still paralyzingly terrifying. It just makes it so clear that if a guy like this is overwhelmed by coming out, how incredibly difficult it must be for people who face the real risk of rejection by friends and family, loss of their jobs, breaking off of relationships, etc. Especially for young teens who risk losing their homes and families if their parents reject them. I just found this a really important concept in the middle of a book that has such a light and humorous tone. It is to Day’s credit that he can combine both the poignancy and the humor into one story and blend it so well.
I loved Jason and his inner voice never failed to amuse me. Despite all his jokes and his avoidance, he is also incredibly self aware. He knows exactly what he is doing and he knows it makes little sense, but he also can’t stop himself. I could feel for him as he struggled not to disappoint Chad and not to disappoint himself. We don’t get to know Chad quite as well as the book is from Jason’s POV. Part of me wishes I got more of a sense of him as Jason battles his demons, but I also think this is really Jason’s story and it makes sense that he is the focus. I really loved following along with his journey, at times serious, many times amusing, and always really enjoyable.