Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
In the second book of the Waiting For Forever series, Brian McAllister has just left his home in Alabama to search for his best friend and soul mate, Jamie. Jamie, who, after being taken away by his parents, sent Brian a letter from San Diego after a year of no contact. Brian was forced to choose between starting college surrounded by his loving parents and his friend with the potential of more, Adam, or taking what little money he had saved and moving to a new state where he knows no one to search for Jamie. For Brian, it was an easy decision to make, until he arrives in San Diego.
Brian has no idea where Jamie is, or if he even lives in San Diego anymore. He’s determined to find Jamie by following the few clues he has. He visits the center where Jamie was sent by his parents to cure his homosexuality, and meets a few people along the way who ran into Jamie weeks ago. With very little money and no idea where to live, Brian is lucky enough to find Leo, who helps the LGBT community and offers Brian a place to stay. There, Brian finds a family and a best friend in Mike, who helps him on his journey to find Jamie.
When money gets tight, Brian has to decide whether he will return to Alabama, or take a job doing something he never thought he’d do just so he can pay his rent and continue his search. When he arrives at his new job, he realizes his decision may very well change his life.
In the meantime, Jamie Mayfield, in a desperate move to get away from the center, ends up penniless and alone, abandoned by his family and without any plan to survive. Even though Jamie has never forgotten for a second about Brian and is still just as in love with him as the day he left, he has to make some decisions just to stay alive — decisions that will change the course of his life and perhaps keep him separated from Brian for good.
As I previously explained in the first book of this series, this is an adaptation of J.P. Barnaby’s Little Boy Lost series for a YA audience. I really enjoyed this second book, even more so than the first one. While I felt the first book became a little too much for me at times — too full of drama and constant heightened emotions that seemed unrealistic for teenage boys — this book really got into the grit and the realism of kids who are kicked out of their houses for being gay and the things they have to go through to stay alive. It tore my heart out to read about this all too common occurrence and how easy it is for people to take advantage of these young people because they have no other way to survive.
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot because it really did keep me reading late into the night. I thought Mayfield (Barnaby) did a great job of getting us heavily invested in the characters, not only our two main characters, Brian and Jamie, but Mike and Alex and the entire family of men Brian becomes involved with. They provided such love and support to Brian, it was difficult not to fall in love with them as well.
I felt, perhaps, that the way things ended up for Brian and Jamie seemed a little bit unrealistic, especially in the way their lives eventually intersect. It didn’t seem plausible that both paths would lead them to the same place based upon the same very difficult decision, especially considering the backgrounds of the two young men and their commitment to their love for one another. I’m not saying things like this don’t happen, just that it was hard for me to buy into it when it came to both of the boys.
The only other tiny criticism I have is that this book doesn’t quite fit in either the adult or young adult category for me. I have no doubt that kids of all ages would benefit from the message in this book, but it still contains a lot of heavy subjects, sexual and otherwise, which I’m not sure I’d want my young adult to read. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of 16.
Overall, this is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to read the next and final installment and will be hoping that Jamie and Brian find true happiness together after all they had to go through to be together. If you didn’t read the Little Boy Lost, this is a great alternative that you’ll want to pick up.