Monday, November 7, 2011

Everything Under the Sun

Everything Under the Sun by Rachel West
Dreamspinner Press
170 Pages
4 out of 5

What do you do when you have every choice in the world at your fingertips and no idea what you want?

Ever since Chris Bennett graduated high school a year ago, he's been trying to figure out what's next. His lifeguarding job has kept him busy, and in southern California, poolside isn't a bad place to be. But he's spent most of his time thinking about Seth, the former classmate who became something more for a few brief moments last summer. Now Seth is back, but he seems to be running toward Chris and running away from him at the same time. Meanwhile, Chris is increasingly drawn to Alex, his gorgeous new neighbor who puts up a sexy, confident front but may be harboring a few romantic demons of his own.

Chris doesn't know which direction to go, either in life or in love. But by the time he figures it out, will the right person still be around to want him back?

There are so many wonderful things I loved about this book, at first I was unsure about where the author was going but in the end it was written splendidly.  For me this book was relatable on so many levels, the young characters, the feeling of being stuck in a place they want desperately to get out off, and also being unsure of what the heck they want to do with their lives. It was fun, sweet, and all kinds of sexy. I still have a smile on my face.

Chris Bennett is one of many students who decide to take a year of school before heading out to college/university to do a little life exploring, only his year is turning into two and he is still unsure of how to progress. Working at a pool as a lifeguard, his life is pretty much a routine and is love life is in the same disarray. Chris is feeling good though because the guy he has been fooling around with is back in town after leaving for college, and he is feeling that this might be it. He might actually go all the way, all naked and everything. From the first kiss, followed by a night he would never forget, Chris is hoping that his feelings might be reciprocated.

All is not well in Chris land when he realizes that the guy he likes will never accept his feelings, and he is just sick and tired of being used. When a surprise trip leads to a heartbreaking realization. Chris turns to his sexy neighbour Alex. What begins as a true friendship, turns into hot blistering lust, it’s a great feeling for Chris to actually want someone else, and what might have begun as friends with benefits is becoming so much more. Once again Chris might be falling for someone looking for a quick hook-up but the vibe he is getting is saying that it is something more.

I enjoyed that all three guys are young guys, and their troubles are believable. Chris is just splendid his character truly thinks and act like a nineteen year old boy. He is undecided about life, scared of venturing off to the unknown and I found myself being able to relate to his trials. That is one of the many awesome things about this book. Its  also actually quite funny, the inner turmoil of the characters was wonderfully written and I loved how they always seem to be constantly berating themselves in their heads.

There is three POVs and it so totally works, you get a strong sense of all the characters and you understand them a whole lot better. When it came to Seth (this is the bastard friend who was fooling around with Chris), I was glad that we got to see things from his side, you just cannot dislike him. He is a scared young man, who has no idea about his sexuality; and there is this guy he is attracted to and that is freaking the crap out him. For me with Seth it was never about Chris, it was about him finally coming to understand that he might actually like men and he has no clue what to do about it. This is why the book was just so good, it’s realistic when it came to emotions and I have to give credit where credit is due.

All the characters are likable, Alex is a dream and he is also young, the oldest of the bunch but with still a lot to learn. This book is a discovery of what is important and what its like to fall in love, whether it be the first or second time around. The sex is hot, the chemistry between characters is off the chain, and I just found it so refreshing, it is a perfect summer read. I am hoping for a sequel because I want more Seth and I want to meet the guy who will lead him to find himself, and I think I might already know him. Just a very sweet book and I will be watching out for this author, I expect big things from Rachel West if her books continue to shine like this. Everything Under the Sun will give you warm fuzzies.

4 Pants Off
Go Ahead Take Those Pants Off

 Reviewed for Three Dollar Bill Reviews

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