Welcome to Alvarado, Texas where the pastimes include farming, football, and fag-tipping! Right? Traumatized by “the event” that occurred right before he left town for SMU, all Sam remembers of his childhood is being picked on by Cody Greene, ignored and hated by his alcoholic father, and the love of his music teacher. When Mrs. Greene convinces him to come home and visit with her before she succumbs to the cancer she’s been battling, he cannot deny her wishes, except he arrives home to find out she’s already died. Ready to hightail it out of town, Sam learns that Mrs. Greene has one last request of him. Forced to spend eight days living in Mrs. Greene’s house with her son and his high school nemesis, Cody, Sam is determined to keep Cody at arm’s length. Except Cody isn’t who Sam remembers him being.
Cody Greene was the epitome of what was expected of the youths in Alvarado, Texas. The football star dated all the pretty cheerleaders. What everyone failed to mention to Sam, though, was that Cody came out of the closet right after high school.
Forced to live together, Sam begins to realize that what he remembers about growing up may not have happened exactly as he remembers it. As Sam begins to deal with the memories he’s suppressed for the last few years, can Cody convince Sam to build new memories?
I absolutely loved this book! There is something about going back to where one started and realizing that sometimes the way we remember things isn’t always exactly as they happened. For Sam, five years of being at school had convinced him that there was nothing and nobody back home for him. Except once he steps foot back in town, he begins to realize that there were people still back there who have been eagerly following any news about him. People he forgot about when he tried to move on after being brutally beaten. Now back, he begins to realize that maybe Cody wasn’t the bully he remembers him as.
So this book takes us on Sam’s journey. Sam, with a little help from Mrs. Greene’s last wishes, begins to reconnect with Cody, who came out of the closet shortly after Sam left for college. As the two lean on each other to grieve her passing, they realize there has always been that bond between them. The sex scenes between these two were romantic and sexy all rolled into one and sprinkled with a heavy dose of humor. Let’s just say that Cody may have been out of the closet, but he hasn’t tested the waters before…and, he’s an avid learner.
The secondary characters in this book give the book that “hometown feel.” There are Sam’s old friends from school who’ve managed to hook up and build a life together while he was away. There is Sam’s college roommate who helped Sam move on after what happened to him when he left town, and now Sam is there for him after he faces a similar fate. Then there are the townspeople – some of whom are supportive and some that are not supportive. What I especially liked, though, was seeing Sam and his father try to bridge the gap in their relationship.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend!