Rone Forrester isn’t like most teenagers. Since the death of his mother to cancer three years ago, he has to balance school with taking care of his little brother. If it wasn’t for his best friend, Carson Harrington, Rone wouldn’t have much of a social life. The only problem is that he has romantic feelings for Carson. When Rone acts on those feelings, the results are disastrous.
Deciding staying home is no longer an option, Rone leaves behind his dreams of becoming a pediatric surgeon and flees town. With the help of friends, Rone makes it to Los Angeles where he learns how dangerous the streets are for a homeless teenager. Just when he thinks everything he dreamed and hoped for is lost, Rone’s luck changes for the better when he seeks out help at the LGBT Center for homeless youth.
With a lot of luck and perseverance, Rone navigates his new life as a gay youth with the help of friends who love him for who he is and help him become what he’s dreamed of. When a chance encounter from his past happens, Rone needs to make amends to those he left behind.
I want to start off this review by stating that all the royalties from this book’s sale will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s services for homeless youth. Based on the author’s note at the end of this story, the work this center does for the homeless youths who walk through their doors is nothing short of amazing, in my opinion.
This is a feel good story. I will admit, I was rooting for Rone when he ran away and hoped there was a silver lining in the dark cloud of his life. With that said, this book reads like a gay version of Cinderella. Rone works hard at school to get the grades he needs to get into college and eventually medical school. He plays football to appease his father. Instead of doing things normal high school seniors do, Rone has to care for his younger brother most nights and weekends while his father works as the town’s police chief. When his father beats him for his sexuality, Rone escapes with little more than the clothes on his back and some money he has saved, only to find out that life on the streets is just as dangerous as being at home. But instead of finding himself at a ball, he finds himself at the Los Angeles GLBT Center for homeless youths where he meets his fairy godfather who helps Rone realize his dreams. While it makes for a nice story, the sad fact is that for many homeless youth, this is nothing more than a fantasy…so on the believability scale, this was more in line with being a fairytale. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more reality when it came to being a homeless teenager.
This also isn’t your typical romance story, but rather a coming of age story with a happily ever after. Spanning seventeen years from start to finish, readers are along for the ride as Rone navigates his way through life and love. While Rone experiences both ups and downs, there isn’t a whole lot of angst in the story. For me, I would have liked to have seen a bit more, especially when it came to his reunion with those in his past. As a reader, I was perplexed at Rone and his excuses as to why he never attempted to contact his little brother or his best friend over the seventeen years this story covers– and wonder whether he would have ever attempted contact if he didn’t accidentally bump into someone from his past. Instead, we got the fair tale story where Rone steps in to save the day, and make it a truly happy ending for everyone.
Overall, this was a fairly decent story with a fairytale feel. If you like books with a feel good feeling, you should check this book out!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.