Fifty Yards and Holding

Fifty Yards and Holding Victor Alvarez Is In Serious Trouble Now Seventeen And Flunking Out Of High School, He S Been Chosen As The Leader Of The Violent Street Gang He S Been A Member Of Since He Was Thirteen Riley Brewer Has Just Broken A State Record As The Star Of Their High School Baseball Team When Riley And Victor Meet By Chance, A Connection Begins To Grow When Friendship Turns To Love, Both Young Men Realize Their Reputations Contradict Who They Really Are Once Their Secret Relationship Is Discovered, Victor Realizes Their Lives Are At Risk Refusing To Hide In Order To Survive, Riley Vows That Only Death Can Keep Him Apart From Victor

David Matthew Barnes is an author, playwright, poet, and screenwriter He writes in multiple genres, primarily young adult He writes contemporary romance novels as Wren Valentino His award winning screenplays have earned many international accolades, including awards at the New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam, the Play Film Festival in Paris, the Sunday Shorts Film Festival in London, the

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Fifty Yards and Holding
  • David-Matthew Barnes
  • 06 August 2019
  • 9781626390812

10 thoughts on “Fifty Yards and Holding

  1. says:

    Well, I wish I could write a different review, but sadly that isn t the case this time.This story just felt really disjointed for me The first half of the book was all about Toro real name Victor and his interactions with his street gang, Los Reyes, the shooting death of his 13 y.o cousin by their rival gang, his selfish sister s drama and his meeting Riley.Toro Victor Toro supposedly had a girlfriend, to whom we are never even introduced The gang is all consuming in Toro s life, until he meets cute baseball player Riley and they begin spending time together.Then he just walks away from the gang there are only 5 members, really and none of its members confront Toro on his departure This is the same gang talking about killing 4 members of the rival gang who killed 2 members of Los Reyes, so just letting their former leader walk away didn t sound remotely plausible to me.Then the book fast forwards 5 months and Toro and Riley are in love and inseparable, with Toro having moved into Riley and his mother s very small apartment No details on the progression of their relationship, it just is, so the reader is expected to just roll with the fact and move on I m not a fan of books that completely skip the minor details of how a couple becomes a couple, as I find that to be one of the best parts of a couple s story What did they have to overcome between point A and point B What turned out to be their commonalities and what were there differences How did their initial attraction grow into love and conversations of forever But that aside, there were several things about the book that I found really bizarre.1 Toro initially met baseball star Riley, who s reportedly good enough to go pro someday, when Toro gives Riley advice on how to bat Riley has nearly single handedly won not one, but two, California high school state baseball championships, while Toro has watched baseball on TV Ummmmm, okay, you re cute, so thanks for the much needed advice, random hot Latino boy 2 Toro is 17, born and raised in the Berkeley Oakland area and seemed completely unfamiliar and uncomfortable with city buses Huh I lived in the SF Bay Area for 13 years and everyone but the uber rich lives and dies by public transportation there especially if they don t own a car Period I never met an exception to that rule Not once ass scratching 3 At 17, Toro had never been across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco jaw drop Wait, WHAT It s like 8 miles away, if that.Unless he d been abducted by a band of non traveling agoraphobics, intent on only ever being 5 feet from their front door, I find that very unbelievable Especially when Toro s sister was fine with public transportation So sorry, not buying it 4 When, 5 months after his departure, Toro hears that his old gang is out to kill him and he decides that his only option to keep Riley safe is to view spoiler KILL HIMSELF even though Toro, Riley and Riley s mom are moving to Florida in LESS THAN A WEEK hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Thank you Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review Fifty Yards and Holding was one of those books I requested on a whim Gay teenagers Gang violence Forbidden love Count me in But after I got approved and read the whole thing I realized it was good Not great, but not awful.It centers around Victor Toro and Riley The former s a seventeen year old gang leader the other s a baseball star If I had to compare their relationship to anything, it would probably be Romeo and Juliet And, anyone whose read Romeo and Juliet knows this is a bad thing A very, very, bad thing.The book isn t very long and was split into two sections December and May In December, we see Toro becoming a gang leader, loosing his position, and meeting Riley In May, Riley and Toro are in love There was absolutely no development in their relationship Barnes completely skips that awkward getting to know you phase and goes straight to We re soulmates I never got invested, or cared, about their relationship because it was so fast it didn t seem real If the book was longer it could have gone indepth into Riley and Toro s relationship.I hate to be the one to say it, but Riley and Toro s relationship is superficial Not that they love each other for their looks, but every word out of their mouth seemed shallow Their dialogue is suppose to be all romantic and dark and make us swoon, but it doesn t Instead it tries to convince us that what Toro and Riley have is real instead of actually showing us any development in their relationship It s just lazy.The book is written in third person and we get to see the world through at least five characters throughout the novel It s not that this is bad per sey, but I never really connected with any character s issues I didn t care Toro s sisters preggers or about Riley s mom s dating issues.However, that s not to say I didn t like any of the side characters Riley s mother, Emily, was defiantly a favorite She was not only supportive, but took no shit from anyone I d read a whole book about her honestly.As for the gang violence I ve got to give credit where credit s due Barnes did a pretty good job not making Toro s ganghow do I put this nicelyincredibly racist There was a lot of room for stereotyping and Barnes did a great job making his characters real and not just thugs Okay, one guy was a thug, but that s because he s an asshole.I actually enjoyed the gang politics There wasn t much of it and those scenes weren t very long, but they were interesting The battle or feud or whatever with rival gangs as well as the power struggle between Toro and that thugish asshole I mentioned, Paco.Since this is an LGBT novel, I feel like I should point out how Toro tells Riley that he can t tell anyone he s gay, because no one would accept him However, what he doesn t mention is why no one would accept him From the book, it s inferred that Toro lives in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood, and I guess that equates to homophobic The readers are never given an opportunity to know what Toro s background is like, because the novel moves so quickly Because of this the only reason we think Toro can t go out in public with Riley is because of the stereotype Hispanic neighborhoods are innately homophobic.We re given nothing about the neighborhood the gangs are fighting over, or why they re fighting at all really, and, again while it was entertaining, the book lack development in that area just as it lacked in development everywhere else.

  3. says:

    Everything happened to quickly that i just did not feel any connection with all of the characters They met in December and got to know each other for a week and all of the sudden it time jumped to May I need to know what happened between December and May It needed angst and development with the relationship Too bad, the plot had really great potential Thanks Netgalley for the arc.

  4. says:

    Sweet, with a little bit of peril for a main character.

  5. says:

    3.0 of 5 stars Light Teen Romance Between 2 Guys From 2 Cultures I m excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read so thanks, David Matthew I m a fan of gay YA romance, and this was a nice, entertaining one, while being a bit light on the development of story and character.It reminded me a bit of a modern gay West Side Story The two lovers Toro and Riley being from different cultures added to the tension and it was laced with foreboding, particularly about Toro s thoughts about suicide and what might happen with the gang and the gay thing so would it end like West Side Story Its contrast between the two types of cultures and environments was a plus, view spoiler as was the ending with a hopeful message that despite your troubles, it can get better hide spoiler

  6. says:

    This is an innocent, gay, YA romance between Toro Victor a gangbanging 17 y o and Riley, a classmate and baseball superstar.Riley s life falls apart the Christmas of his senior year when his jackass father admits to his longstanding affair with a young employee Eager to leave the torment of her marriage behind, Riley s mother, Emily, moves them both out of their posh home into a one bedroom apartment that she can afford on her receptionist salary Emily is despodant, not because she loved her husband, but because she s been a homemaker for 18 years and has few marketable skills Their financial prospects are grim until the divorce is settled and alimony child support arranged Oh, and dear old dad has decided to buy his mistress a car instead of paying Riley s private school tuitionso Riley s headed to public school.Victor Toro is the new head of his gang, ever since his cousin Manny was killed by rivals three weeks ago A run in between his sister Alma and the same gang forces action that leaves another family member dead Toro is on the run when he meets Riley at a train stop Riley seems eager to either protect or hide Toro from his pursuers They spend time together, connecting in a way neither had before See, they are both closeted Toro, because he knows he ll be killed by his gang for being gay, and Riley, because he doesn t want to deal with his teammates homophobia Riley invites Toro to a party Toro, out of his mind with grief, decides to attend and the connection is cemented Cue the wavy lines for a time shift we jump forward five months to the final week of school Inexplicably I would have appreciated a whole lot emotional build up leading into the climax See, at this point, Toro s been outed to his family and gang Before this, he d stayed off the radar, regularly attended school, and practically moved into the apartment with Riley and Emily Emily accepts her son s relationship, but thinks a fresh start is in order A cross country move, in fact Riley believes he can convince Toro to come along, but Toro knows his uncovered secret just signed death warrants for himself and Riley The only way to save the boy he loves is to take himself out of the equation before his former gang can find him.I did like this story, the writing was interesting and engaging It lacked a bit of emotional depth, for me, however, due to a lack of development in the time jump I m fine with off the page sex for teens, so that wasn t a trouble, but all the flashback and flash forward gave me timeline itis Also, there may have been too many points of view for this short of a piece, IMHO We could have done without Alma, perhaps I agree that Toro s gang was weak and pathetic, but I expected backlash when he fell off their grid All the gang type stories I have heard read seem to indicate such an absence would be cause for a beating, at the very least, yet Toro just walks away free for months That didn t ring true Because I m an in curable romantic, I rooted for these people to find happiness spoiler we can assume they did received a copy of this book from NetGalley.

  7. says:

    Disclaimer I received an egalley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Victor Toro Alvarez has suddenly found himself as the leader of a street gang It s not that he s necessarily reluctant to take on the position, it s just that he has a few issues of his own to deal with one major one being that he s pretty sure he s gay and that would not go over well with the rest of the gang It also means he will probably never get out of his neighborhood unless it s in a body bag But when he comes across Riley Brewer as he s running from a rival gang, he wonders if maybe he has options than he first thought Riley is new to Toro s school, since his father stopped paying his private school tuition after his parents divorced And there s definitely an air between the two of them in those few moments that makes them both wonder if their chance meeting was part of something greater for them both.I ll start off by saying that I did enjoy the overall message of this story very much The idea that you re never truly stuck and that even if you make choices based on circumstances, you always have options to change your path is an important and powerful one And that comes across as a real strength of this book.That said, it s the way this book worked through that message that holds me back from a four or five star review The opening set up an interesting tone that was not reflected in the rest of the book, which sort of threw me off The Toro we see right away doesn t really seem to exist elsewhere in the story and while I can see how that might have been the point to an extent, since it never really comes back around, it seems almost out of place Add to that the fact that we rather suddenly skip over almost five months the five months during which it appears the bulk of the character and relationship development occurred and it made it a bit difficult to connect to these characters as meaningfully as I would have liked.This is definitely worth a read, especially for those who are looking for a broader message story and maybe not specifically looking for something that focuses on individual characters and the how and why they get to their destination.Content warnings view spoiler gun violence attempted suicide hide spoiler

  8. says:

    Thankyou to Bold Stroke Books Inc and David Matthew Barnes for an e mobi copy A fairly quick read but nonetheless brilliant.Fifty Yards and Holding essentially had all the elements of a great book, two addictive characters, someone to hate, someone to like and someone who is so in love they d harm themselves to save the other person Toro and Riley were both exactly what I hoped for, different but equally attracted to each other They both came from different places, different families and had different aims in life, yet they were both good for each other They worked together well and the love they had between them was believeable I especially liked Emily Brewer, I admired her for having the inner confidence to leave her cheating husband and move on in life I respected her for wanted to move to Florida and start a new life together and I loved her for accepting her son and wanting to bring Toro with them to Florida She was not only a lovely and wonderful mother but a lovely woman, anyone would ve been lucky to have a mother like her The gang war that was going on was completely honest and well constructed It wasn t over the top or unbeliveable but very slight and always there in the background, which I guess was the sort of message at the back when they discovered he was gay Despite being a quick read, it was still a really good book and I d reccommend it to anyone who fancies a little bit of light reading with a great and fast paced plot.

  9. says:

    Victor is the leader of a violent street gang Riley is the star of his high school baseball team but he s had to relocate due to his parents divorce and now he ll be going to public school After meeting a small handful of times Victor and Riley fall in love and move in together Once the gang finds out that Victor is gay they decide to kill him and Riley I really wanted this book to be better than it was We need quality LGBT YA fiction in our libraries But this book just didn t deliver in its emotional connection or plot depth.

  10. says:

    This was confusing and I found the twisting back and forth in time periods a little disconcerting We were given way too much information about some events, and nothing of all about others The time jumps also distracted me, and I couldn t identify or sympathise with many of the characters With it dealing with young adults, there was little on page sexytimes.It was also quite sad Copy provided by publisher, via Netgalley Out March 17.

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