Brian and Matt Walker have lived with their openly gay Uncle Jake since their parents were killed in an automobile accident when they were six. Brian, a passenger in the car, hasn’t ever spoken of what he saw that day. Today, as the boys are high school seniors, they begin to try to find their places in this world.
Brian, starting quarterback for the high school football team, is a bi teen, and most definitely a top. For years he’s played the role of protector to his twin brother, Matt, all while harboring guilt and self-loathing over the accident. When he meets a college-aged guy at the beginning of his senior year, Brian thinks he’s found someone who can help him escape his mundane existence. Instead, Brian finds that after all these years, he is no longer the protector and the one who may need someone to watch over him.
Matt is the editor of the school’s newspaper and is looking forward to heading off to college next year. As senior year begins, Matt finds himself in a relationship with a new transfer student who struggles to come out of the closet. Having never had to hide who he is, Matt finds his new boyfriend trying to pull Matt into the closet with him.
Jake has put his life on hold to raise his sister’s twin boys. As the story unfolds, he finds himself beginning a new relationship with Brian’s football coach and struggling to maintain his easy going relationship with the boys while ensuring they make the right, and safe, choices.
This is one of those books that I have extremely mixed feelings reviewing. To be completely honest, there were parts of this book I absolutely loved, and then there were parts of this book that I wasn’t comfortable reading. Therefore, I must start this review by justifying my 5-star rating. The writing in this book flows beautifully and is so well written that it pulls you in and makes you want to keep turning the page despite the fact that the storyline itself put me way outside of my comfort zone. While I may not have been comfortable with reading certain parts of this book, I have to admit that it was written with such feeling that one could feel the adoration these characters had for one another so that even though we know what is happening is “wrong,” it felt “right.”
This book actually has two different stories – the one that it comes with, and then an alternate ending version which totally blew my mind! I will warn readers that this book deals with issues involving rape and incest – yet, even though you realize that you are reading something taboo, it is so well written that the emotions are palpable. Then you read the alternate ending and, while you may have been okay with what was happening in the original story, that one now seems mild.
Brian and Matt have a complicated relationship. Being twins, they have a deep bond with one another, yet at the same time they are completely different individuals. Yet, despite this, they’ve always been there for one another. Some readers may have issues with two very short scenes in the main story where these two’s relationship crosses borders. I will admit, I was a bit uncomfortable thinking that these two characters would engage in sexual relations with one another, but I have to admit that they were so well written and felt true to character that I was surprised that it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
The book also features a rape scene and aftermath. Without giving too much of the storyline away, one of the boys is raped and readers get to see how all three (Brian, Matt, and Jake) deal with the aftermath.
My only complaint about this book is that I was completely uncomfortable with the alternate ending to the story. Again, not to give too much of the story away, the alternate ending involved Brian’s, Matt’s and Jake’s relationship with one another taking on a new adult level together. For me, I had a hard time believing that Jake would go there. Yet, despite this feeling, I have to admit that even this part of the story was written so well that I actually was believing it.
Overall, this book is not going to be for everyone – yet, at the same time, this book is about a makeshift family that only has each other to depend upon and as the boys are growing older and making adult choices in their lives, they find they need each other right there by their side. The bond between these three was just wonderful to watch unfold. I would have preferred not to have read the alternate ending, as I believe the original story was powerful without really being too taboo. If you are comfortable with a book with a bit of twin sexual comforting – this book is a must read!