I bought this book months ago, but I always delayed to read it since I had the idea that it was sad and difficult, and if I have to spend my mind in a book, at least I want in the end to be happy. But I was wrong... Oh yes, the book is difficult, almost tragic in some part, but it's not sad, and I'm very happy to have read it and I will recommend it to everyone who wants to end a book with a tender smile on his face. Mind you, the book has not a pink glasses perspective on the world, but it still has hope in it.
Noah is a really good character, but he is not the only protagonist of this book: he shares the role with the other young boy J.D., but also with his mother Virginia, and in a way, also with Donna and Tom, J.D.'s parents. And so I would like to start my post speaking of Virginia: she is the classical strong woman who built a shield around her to not face a dramatic and long buried secret in her past. She managed to find a piece of serenity with her husband, probably a more simple and quite man than her, even less clever, but able to give her the stability she needed. Noah had never seen his parents in intimate behavior, but he felt the positive energy between them, he knew that his family was an haven from the world, a place where he could grow and be the man he wanted to be without fear of rejection. But that haven was destroyed when his father suddenly passed away, and the other plate who balanced his mother disappears.
Now Virginia drags Noah to live in a small town, but it's not the cultural shock who Noah would expect. In a way, the small town way of life replace that safe haven, and the disorientation Noah would probably had in the city, is avoided with this moving in an old Victorian house that needs a lot of work to be inhabitable and in this way distracts Noah from his own problems. And another distraction arrives from J.D., the new neighbor a year young than Noah. It's strange, Noah is way too clever than J.D., and he is also older, but when J.D. enters the scene, he always takes the role of the leader, the one who always seems to be more aware and adult. Even with his parents J.D. has a way too adult behavior for his own age, he is comprehensive and respectful, even if they have obviously a lot of problem and if J.D. will continue to live with them will end in a very bad way.
This is obviously a coming of age story, both of Noah and J.D., but in a way also of both their mothers, who need to make pacts with their past to not ruin the future of their son. But it's also a love story between Noah and J.D., and even if dealt with tenderness and the right dose of eroticism for a young adult book, it's nevertheless a very sweet and satisfying love story. It evolves in a way that maybe makes Noah and J.D. face some decisions before time, but it's right, since also in their personal life they are facing events that no one at that age should face: and since the world asks them to be adult, it's right that also in their sexual life they are adult....Continua