Rounded up to 3 stars.
I liked the short novels of Jeff Erno and was excited to read at last my first full length novel of this author. Unfortunately my high expectations were not fulfilled.
The book told us the love story of Shawn Graham and Bobby Wilder growing up in the 80s, two boys with different and and the same time similar family background. They both were raised by a single mother without brothers or sisters. But Shawn unlike Bobby grow up in a very religious environment. The first time they met when Bobby spent his summer by his father's new family in Michigan. It was just a quick but fateful encounter, even if they had no idea about it at that time.
Jeff Erno presents a whole range of different topics, from sexual abuse and bullying through religion up to homophobia. The author can perfectly portray a teen outsider, like in his [b:Invisible|10415590|Invisible|Jeff Erno|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1302839133s/10415590.jpg|15319804] he knows perfectly how to rip your heart out and then put it together.
Only what worked for me in the short novel, didn't work in a full length one. And the main reason for it was the writing.
I think that the book could be much better if it would have at least 100 pages less. The author told us the same situations again and again, from many different views. There are so many empty words, sentences, pages that took my attention from the story. In spite of I loved the boys I was reading about, at some point the repetitions became annoying and I catched myself skipping pages.
What bothered me apart from repetitions was a third person part. I have never had a feeling that it was told from the 13-15 years old boy's POV. It was told from a middle age male person, who TRIED TO BE a teen boy. On one hand they were too childish and naive for their age in some situation, on the other hand they were embarrassingly mature during sex scenes.
All in all, if you're a fan of a YA genre and enjoy heart-wrenched stories with HEA, you should try it.
I would say, the book is more suitable for MM-beginners, MM-old hands could be less satisfied with it.