Author: Krissy Bells
Publisher: Harold Blue Publishing
Rating: 4/5 Smooches
Aaron Garrett is many things in life: he is a son, a friend, a student, and caring boyfriend to his lovely girlfriend Leigh Ann. In these roles, he is kind, hardworking, smart, loving, dedicated, and considerate. At Jefferson High School, he is a leader, a football star, and well-respected by his peers. Aaron’s life is perfectly on track, he is pursuing a college scholarship and hopeful for the future, except for just one thing: Aaron Garrett is gay. When a former child star from Aaron’s small Southern town saturates the national media after making homophobic comments, Aaron’s life is turned upside down as supporters rally around the sentiments. Social media attention begins to swell nationally and locally until it begins to eat away at every part of Aaron’s existence.
Honestly this book was a hard read for me. My heart broke for Aaron and the ending made me angry. I don't like a book that leaves me hanging on a cliff.
This book is about a boy who is gay in the south, living in a closet because he knows that he won't be accepted. This is a harsh reality even in these more accepting times. This kid exists in far too many families across this country. He is a nice kid, a kid who wants to do what's right and doesn't want to hurt anyone else. He wants to believe that it doesn't matter, until it does. It's real, and it's not going away, and people will find out.
The word "Fag" in this book is a catalyst that sends Aaron into a tailspin after it is etched into a favorite teacher's blackboard. Suddenly he's having trouble reconciling what his mother, girlfriend, and best friends think on the topic, especially when he's harboring a secret locked deep inside him.
It always astonishes me how parents can stop loving their children over who they might fall in love with. It's like they forget that parental love should be unconditional. I don't love my children if... I love my children. I may not like everything that they do, but I love my children. I won't turn my back on them because they might fall in love with someone of a different religion or race, so why should gender matter? Of course, it shouldn't, but many many parents forget about that until it is too late. Too late to make amends.
I don't want to give away spoilers about the book, but there are some triggers, and you need to be aware of that going in. This book does not have a happy ending, but it's an ending that happens far too often.
Krissy Bells wove a captivating story, and I hope that this book has a sequel. This story certainly shows what can happen when a young person feels they are pushed to their limit.