Garrett’s health has been poor since he was born and it’s only gotten worse over the years. He is mostly confined to home, where he is home schooled, and while his father wants to keep him safe, Garrett wants to get out of the house sometimes. During one outing to the coffee shop, he meets Presley. Presley with the beautiful blue eyes and shy smile and who has ADHD and feels as alone as Garrett.
Both Garrett and Presley have been pushed aside before when others didn’t understand them and they are both unsure of starting a friendship. But the boys start spending more time together and the holidays this year look better than ever. Both Garrett and Presley have to learn that while they do trust each other, they have to trust in themselves as well.
The Gift of Believing is part of The Heart of the Holidays series by various authors that features YA characters finding love. The books are said to be a series of standalone books and I had no issues reading only this one.
We meet Garrett first as he is out of the house, which is something that can happen less frequently due to his health. When Garrett meets Presley, he knows it’s a matter of time before Presley runs the other way due to Garrett’s health issues. It’s happened before, but Presley feels the same about himself. Presley’s wealthy parents don’t understand any of Presley’s issues, have a certain idea of the kind of son they want, and are mostly embarrassed by Presley and they did come across as the caricature “bad” parents.
Garrett’s favorite hobby is reading romance to escape and he longs for a romance of his own, but part of this kept pulling me out of the story. The author mentions Garrett’s favorite authors in the narrative, along with descriptions of their books, and Denae chose to use real books and authors as examples. It came off like the author herself was fangirling in the book and it read as awkward and clunky to me.
The guys are 16 and 17 and have little to no experience with having friends or a boyfriend. The two of them fit together so well and the heart of the story is watching them support each other and fall in love as they find a sweet first love that will last a lifetime.