This book really deals with some really ugly issues and the not so savoury side of life and human nature. It had me really wanting to look away at times, taking me way beyond my usual comfort zone, but hoping that good will win through in the end. It may sound terribly clichéd but the author deals with the subject very sensitively but realistically. As ugly as some of the story was it was therefore all the more beautiful. It was a stark contrast between a love that was all encompassing, strong and unshakeable, born out of a common ground of insecurity while dealing with the more perverse desires of addiction and abuse from not so nice childhoods.
The two MCs Brett and Cory meet while Brett is working at a restaraunt / bar. His first real job since dropping out of school. He's fighting the ghosts of his own past after having an abusive mother and Cory coping with an alcoholic father. The bad childhoods that these two characters have experienced lays the foundations for and bonds a friendship that later flourishes into an intense love. Brett being older feels very protective of Cory and wants nothing more than to protect him from his alcoholic father, bullying and abuse from others. However, as Cory is an achiever and Brett a high school drop out he feels he isn't good enough for Cory and doesn't wish to hold him back from a bright future at university.
Each chapter deals with one of the MCs in first person singular telling the events from their perspective. This is a format that actually sits well with me and I enjoy the balanced view that such stories give immensely. The language / writing used for Brett took me a chapter to get into, but once started found it added to the character bringing him alive and making him more real. He was a high school drop out, obviously had received little education and the style of writing reflects this in his character very well. However uneducated he may seem to appear there is never any doubt that all his intentions and love are genuine. This fact I find endearing but ask myself whether this would normally be the case. Such kids are also normally totally maladjusted socially and wouldn't behave with such a honour codex as Brett, but in this book it works beautifully and I suppose there are always exceptions.
A very emotional journey that takes you to the dark side of human nature and back, but still always reminds you that love conquers all in the end. At least for Brett and Cory they get their HFN end.