Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: You Belong With Me by Jeff Erno

You Belong With Me by Jeff Erno
Harmony Ink Press
Novel: 164pgs
4 Pants Off

Wesley Harris is sixteen and openly gay, at least to his family and friends. Often bullied at school, he's shy and reserved. Wesley has a penchant for designing T-shirts, and he's a gifted artist. When Brad Johnson, one of the school's most admired jocks, moves in next door, the two boys begin to develop a friendship. It begins when they see each other through their bedroom windows and start exchanging notes with each other. Brad has a notebook upon which he writes messages which he holds up for Wesley to read, Wesley returns the gesture. 

This unique manner of communication leads them into a genuine friendship in which Brad confides in Wesley the issues with which he's struggling. His parents are divorcing, his girlfriend is cheating on him, and his father is critical of everything he does. Most significantly, Brad confesses to Wesley that he thinks he might be bisexual.

Wesley Harris is gay, and pretty much everyone knows it. His parents don't mind which is awesome, but it’s when he gets to school that the acceptance from home goes out the window. He gets bullied but Wes doesn't let it affect how he lives and enjoys school. So when jock superstar Brad Johnson moves in next door Wes can hardly believe his luck. Bonus is that their bedrooms are facing each other, so the boys communicate using a notebook and they strike up a friendship. Brad is more than Wesley expected, and suddenly he's falling hard but he knows that Brad will always be fantasy because one: he's straight, and two a guy like him would never be attracted to a skinny geeky kid like him.

They have a genuine friendship and Wes is able to be himself and share everything with Brad. Yes, his heart is still on the line but having Brad as a friend means more. When Brad shares that he might be bi-sexual, Wesley feels like he's on cloud nine. Their relationship starts to move in a direction that makes them both happy, and Wes is thinking maybe after all a guy like him can have the boy of his dreams. Until real life jumps in and Brad has family stuff to deal with, and his feelings for Wes could cost him everything. Wesley still has to deal with the bullies at school and maybe this time he really has had enough.

This is a Jeff Erno book pure and simple, the author is never afraid to hit you with a dose of reality and mixing in the happy ending we hope every young adult could have. As much as I enjoy this trope of nerdy awkward boy falling in love with superstar jock, I really want to see a switch up. The characters take on a classic example of characters we've seen before by the author. Regardless, I found Wes to be a strong character and enjoyed the change that happened with him, and it made me wish that others would stand up for themselves like this.

Once again the author does good for the sex part of the book, not explicit but very sweet interludes between two boys who genuinely care for each other. It always makes my heart feel super happy to read about young people falling in love, and the intimate moments mean something. Wesley and Brad are sweet together, and their little story will warm your heart.

Should You Read It? Yep, if you are a Jeff Erno fan like I am then you won't want to miss this one. As much as I enjoyed it, I really want in the future for there to be a switch up of characters. For once I want the nerdy boy to deem himself worthy from the get go, and maybe he can fall in love with a sexy nerd too. I love me some jock/nerd set-up but I am really in the need for something more.

4 Pants Off

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