Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Boystown. A diverse and upcoming neighborhood in Chicago. The perfect place for roommates Cole O’Brien and Jesse Morgan to live after graduating from college and landing their dream jobs. It’s Jesse who leaves behind a devastated Ben, thinks his new boss Logan is hot, and although Jesse’s mother refuses to discuss his father, Jesse really needs to check out this new man his mother is dating. Excited to start their new lives, Cole and Jesse find themselves quickly in the center of a new group of friends and living across the street from….
Joyelle and Derek Mancini who are celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary. Derek almost misses his flight home from a business trip because he is in bed with Cole. Derek’s brother Emmett is in a committed relationship with Keith. Keith is planning something special for Emmett, but Keith is way too jealous and has a past dark enough to hurt them all.
Logan and Max have been together ten years longer than anyone thought they would be. Logan’s drinking is currently pushing Max further away and Max turns to his best friend Emmett for support.
Connected in ways some of them cannot possibly imagine, life sure is arousing, risky, exciting, dangerous and oh so complicated in Boystown.
Whew! Have you got all of that? Well, you are not really supposed to at this point. Boystown is a uniquely written book that is told in episodes and is set up like your favorite nighttime drama. There are intertwined characters that are all connected and the scenes shift between all of them. Reading the book in its entirety is like binge watching (or binge reading) your favorite guilty pleasure.
The writing is well crafted and because of this it takes a very short time to get the hang of the style. It is easy to become immersed in the lives of the characters very quickly and all of the storylines are intriguing. Just as when you watch a new drama and are trying to figure out the characters, so starts Boystown. And just like trying to explain your favorite show to someone who has never seen it or when you want to talk about last night’s episode but you can’t because everything is a spoiler, well then you have the idea of exactly what Boystown is like.
The storyline moves fast and there is so much going on at the same time. The transition from one scene to the next is very well done and seamless as we can see one set of characters fade out as the current ones emerge on page. The characters mentioned earlier are the most central core characters and the storylines revolve around them. They all have issues, most of them have compromised morals, many of them are cheating, some have secrets and dangerous pasts, and there is a whole lot of drama and shock value. Some of these characters can easily become the ones you love to hate. We have yet to find one couple that is in a really good place.
The author leaves clues at times to help connect the dots of not being able to visually see the characters. But, equally there are times when there is not enough of a connection to feel the need or lust or instant attraction when after one drink two characters are in bed together or just can’t stay away from each other. The fast pace precludes the little details, such as intimate eye contact or body language you would see on screen or at a slower pace on page to help us further connect to the feelings of some of the characters. At times we just have to go with what is happening and take the attraction at face value.
There is plenty of hot sex going on with everybody. A lot of the scenes are hard, bam, have to have you now kind of sex. Some of the intimate dialog was a bit repetitive at times as many characters think about spreading their seed and several characters mention wanting to breed the other character, neither being the sexiest of terms to me. The issue of safe sex, or lack of it, is a point that blatantly sticks out and is really worth a mention. Most of the characters are having sex with multiple partners or people they have just met and condoms are just not present. There is one scene with Derek and Cole where Derek produces a condom and it’s almost like it was in a spotlight with him waving it around saying here is the one condom. However, the next time they are together, Cole tells Derek that he is healthy and he only wants to be with Derek so condoms are not needed and Derek agrees. But, let’s see…they barely know each other, Derek is married, and Cole has no idea who else Derek may be sleeping with. The lack of protected sex was a theme throughout all of the episodes. I do get that these discussions are not as prevalent on TV, but since this is still a book and attention was called to it, it’s just not clear why the author went in this direction.
The last few episodes take a darker turn with kidnapping, violence, and rape, for those that would like a warning. We are introduced to new characters and, of course, they all appear to have questionable motives. The ending, like your favorite show that goes on hiatus, has a cliffhanger, but Season Two has already been released so there would be no wait to find out what happens to your favorite characters. The author, Jake Biondi, stated in an interview that Season One has been converted to a television script format and is being reviewed in Hollywood, so you just may see these characters come to life one day.
Despite the few issues I did have with Boystown, I rounded up on the rating. The writing determined that as Biondi was able to capture so many characters at once and link them all together in what reads as an effortless, continual motion of story, plot, and characters. So if you are missing your favorite drama this summer, pick up Boystown.