I loved the slow burn of this story, the pace was perfect You can t rush the healing process of a broken boy Kai s patience is a key element in this story He is not good with words but music speaks for him.He can show Jamie that his love is sincere and that he is in for the long run Something that neither Jamie nor Kai have experienced before, love and intimacy beyond sex.A review for GayListBook Reviews As A Musician At The Popular College Caf Coed Joe S, High School Senior Kai Manter Is Never Lacking For Male Attention Out, Proud, Free Spirited, And Sexually Aware, Kai Sets His Sights On His Darkly Gothic And Undeniably Bad Tempered Coworker, Jamie Arlotta, A Freshman At The Local Arts University Sporting Long Hair And Alluring Hippie Style, Kai Expects His Interest Will Be Reciprocated, With Satisfying Sex As The End Goal That S What Usually Happens But Jamie S Lessons In Life Have Been Harsher Having Been Sexually Abused By His Older Stepbrother For Several Years, Jamie Has Grown An Impenetrable Outer Shell Meant To Keep The World At A Safe Distance Kai Is Angry At First When He Takes The Brunt Of Jamie S Bad Temper, But After Kai Accidentally Discovers The Abuse Jamie Has Suffered, He Wants To Fix Things Kai S Plan Is Based On What He Knows Best Music And He Stages A Musical Intervention To Let Jamie Know He S Not Alone And Things Can Get Better When Jamie S Perspective Changes And He Emerges From His Shell, Kai Changes, Too, Gaining A Whole New Understanding Of What Sex Can Be When Love Is There Too GAH Where to start First off, trigger warnings There is mention of non consensual sexual violence in this book, though none of it is explicit Also, please have tissues handy you will need them This was a beautifully written story, pulled me in from the word go, with a voice that sounded authentic and believable Kai is a high school senior working as a musical performer at a coffee shop hang out and otherwise flirting and shmexing any boy who catches his eye Not interested in a relationship, he hones in on one of the waiters at the shop, only to be harshly rebuffed by whom his friend Mandy, a waitress at the same shop, calls Pretty Vacant Jamie, the waiter, has a reputation of not connecting with anyone He s nice enough to the customers and good at his job, but doesn t hang out with his co workers or seeks out any friendships A loner for quite some time, he s been written off by most of his peers Clearly, something is going on.Kai, intrigued and slightly miffed, decides Jamie is a challenge A couple of things happen that involve a huge burly guy named Evan who initially claims Jamie owes him money , and Kai has sufficient intuition to realize that not all is as it seems.Thus, he begins to pursue Jamie in the best way he knows staging an intervention with his music, with the songs he sings He begins to reach out, and as he learns about what is really going on, the reader sees a huge shift in Kai s personality.More angst ensues, but the two boys begin a relationship that from the start tugs on your heartstrings I hurt for Jamie as of his story comes out, and I was feeling hugely proud of Kai who does a complete 180 and keeps his approach slow and tender, knowing he has to move carefully to gain Jamie s trust.I thoroughly enjoyed the supporting cast the author created, from Chuck Charlie , Kai s big brother, Mandy, his friend, even Kai s parents they all played a specific role without ever becoming cardboardish and flat Sure, Mandy is queen bitch on occasion, but there s depth to her than that, once she s aware of what s going on Little by little, these people show Jamie that there is another way, that he doesn t have to deal with the issues in his life on his own, and that it s okay to let someone in, to let them help you.Kai s character growth is tremendous, but so is Jamie s He goes from being a scared rabbit using his bitchy Jamie persona to keep people away to standing up for himself and seeking resolution to the situation He grows day to day, becoming stronger every time, without forgetting that he s standing on someone s shoulder for that boost he needed to take charge of the issue.Sure, there are setbacks Evan, Jamie s brother, is a troubled, evil person, and there were plenty of times when I would have liked to get my hands around his neck to choke the crap out of him And while the issue wasn t resolved to my liking, it was resolved in a way that worked best for Jamie, empowering him because he gets to make the decision on it The theme that to understand a man one has to walk in his shoes for a few miles is repeated throughout It s something that Kai has to learn just as much as Mandy does Her derision of Jamie Pretty Vacant changes over time, and she learns that sometimes someone who keeps away isn t snotty or vacant at all but hurting and dealing as best as he knows It s a lesson we all need to learn I adored Chuck He was the quintessential big brother, lending a helping hand and kicking Kai s ass when warranted He listened, he helped, and he guided Kai to where he needed to be, to get a different perspective of things and to support Jamie as best as possible.Throughout this book, Wind Beneath My Wings kept running through my mind Kai, with help from his family, really becomes that uplifting wind to help Jamie soar, to help him fly It was gorgeous I cried many tears, but they were all worth it Kai s voice is authentic throughout this book, written entirely in his limited POV, and thus we get treated to his inner monologue and see the growth he experiences, from being confused as to why he s so intrigued by Jamie to starting to get it to really understanding that his job in Jamie s recovery is not to lead the charge, but to be the uplifting wind under Jamie s wings At its core, this book describes a beautiful first love between the two boys who must overcome difficult obstacles to succeed Open your eyes to the world around you Sometimes, all it takes is a good look at someone with different eyes, and a little intervention to help them along.No man is an island We d do well to remember that.And you can t really know what anyone is going through until you ve walked a mile in their shoes Remember that too This is a YA title from Harmony Ink Press and was given to me as an ARC free of charge A positive review was not promised in return. After 60 pages I couldn t take it any This book is like a playlist with a little story here and there I get that the Soundtrack mentioned in a book is a tool to transport emotions suck the reader in let the reader bond with the story The problem for me was that the constant mentioning of songs lyrics was way to much and the story wasn t interesting enough or better didn t live up to the songs lyris mentioned.Sometimes the songs didn t even fit For example Singing you oughta know to a boy who was raped Not a smart move in real life But the author picked one line that suited her out of the whole song and didn t care about the overall context.You can t throw a list of emotional tunes at me and the story in between is boring as hell clinical not emotional at all You can t throw power songs lyrics at me to get me in the mood and then let nothing happen in the storyThe lack of emotions in this case is a really bad thing since the book is rape themedThis book reads like a bad party game the author participated in Pick three gay themes out of a hat, press radio on google play music 3 times with different genres and then try to connect the songs by creating a story around them As mentioned above I gave up on page 60 I NEVER did that before I will definitely finish it sometime but only because I m ocd that way not because I really want to enjoy it So this review is maybe going to change once I can get myself to finish the bookP.s I finished the book because I felt bad for giving a negative review after the first 60 pages Sadly my opinion hasn t changed The rest if the book was mostly very clinical with a lot of dude and bro thrown into the mix The overall theme rape incest between step brothers didn t touch me at all because of the way it was described The book was really lacking in the emotional department Bad read. 1 1 2 starsWhy, oh why, do authors try to write books with song lists to go with the written word As if it was not cheesy enough to begin with, one of the main characters communicates with his boyfriend by singing songs where they work You can imagine what sort of intervention the title of the book refers to While I thought that a lot of the secondary characters were quite sweet, give me a break, those two main characters were not even close to realistic There is also something I would like to point out to female authors about male male relationships once it has been established that two guys are in a romantic relationship, the following applies You can pick up something for dinner on the way home is NO BETTER AND NO WORSE than Dude, you can pick something for dinner on the way home or Babe sweetie, sugar, honey, etc , you can pick something for dinner on the way home Just because it s two guys of college age does NOT mean they all call each other dude while having a conversation in bed nor that they need to start every sentence with a term of endearment.Bottom line, in my humble opinion, you can skip this book and the literary world will not collapse Freebie at Harmony Ink I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest reviewAnd honestly I didn t hate it but I didn t like it either I liked Kai and I liked Jamie but I found a lot of the dialogue between the two to be silly and if I m honest not really dialogue that would be used by two 18 year old boys And the overuse of the word Dude had be wanting to pull out my hair No one NO ONE says dude that much Ever The story had a lot of potential but the writing let it down and for that fact I had to give this two stars because I found it really hard to read. Kai Manter is a young, talented musician that s proudly out, very sexually active, and finds himself uncharacteristically attracted to a shy, aloof waiter at the caf where he performs That shy waiter, who is prone at times to demonstrate a wicked temper, is Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university There are very serious reasons for Jamie s temperament and it won t be easy to break down Jamie s walls and allow Kai in, but with the help of his friends and his own determination, Kai sets out to prove to Jaime that he s serious about him and their love.Sigh, so I don t really know how to review or rate this, partially because I think many people will like this much than I did, and that I may just be a bit burnt out on YA or too distanced from teenagers these days I can t even honestly say if teenagers actually think, act and speak like this, but it felt not quite there And that just might be because it didn t speak to ME or it actually could be the author s style.I will say that the writing style almost had a frenetic pace, that didn t fit the plot points well in my opinion I kept imagining the guy who did the Micro Machine commercials, John Moschitta Jr., speaking to me throughout my reading This is a story of serious topics, from incest, abuse, even stalking, and yet the WAY it was all handled left me with a distaste in my mouth And I don t feel like I can articulate why Part of me thinks it wasn t given the soberness these issues deserved and the levity with which it was handled at times upset me That s not to say that the characters didn t discuss things with their friends, with adults and with each other That s not to say that the characters didn t reflect on the issues or think these things weren t as bad as they were, but something in the overall tone felt off Just way off I wanted it to slow down Let the moments breathe, let the reader AND Jaime process Too many events, too many detailed days, too much dialogue and I never felt I could appreciate each serious moment on its own.I liked that Kai tried to relate to Jaime through music, and even importantly with specific playlists I related to that because I enjoy book playlists, or think of songs that trigger memories for me Those parts were great, but the rest of this book didn t work for me I couldn t relate or really even like any of the characters unfortunately It was all a bit oddly frivolous and sappy, which is just not me.BUT, again, this might all just be me I do think many of my friends that generally like young adult and super sweet books will like this, but anyone that is even slightly against melodrama, young adult books, or lots of sentences with other parts of sentence in parentheses you might want to pass. 4.25 To intervene when words alone weren t enough Kai is a healthy young man in a lot of respects, a healthy sex life, a healthy self esteem, a great family and he has a wonderful relationship with his older brother Chuck He is a very talented musician, popular, his life is right on track.Jamie is the opposite in almost every way He was calledPretty Vacant throughout his high school years, because although he s pretty, he never interacted with anyone He doesn t make eye contact, he doesn t smile, he doesn t talk and when he does it s who Kai calls bitchy Jamie Kai soon realizes there is far to Jamie than meets the eye His overall style was a paradox of dark and bright, of bold and artsy, of keep your distance and please notice me Kai is probably the first person in Jamie s life to really see him He wants to help and devises a plan So I became dedicated to sending daily messages of inspiration to Jamie Arlotta, who still wouldn t speak to me It took me a while to get through this story, I would stop and listen to the songs that Kai picked to tell Jamie all the things he wanted him to know.It s a beautiful way of speaking, of sharing He let his love of music speak for him.Slowly Kai sees there is also shy Jamie sweet Jamie scared Jamie , but it takes a while for Jamie to trust Kai enough to show him his other sides.The story is told from Kai s POV and I loved seeing how caring for Jamie, wanting to help him and falling in love with him changed Kai s life as much as it changed Jamie s.Jamie is messed up from what his stepbrother did to him and is still doing to him.Kai and his family, especially his brother Chuck, are wonderful, so supportive, patient and kind to Jamie, even when it s not easy Jamie doesn t make it easy for Kai , it often felt like for every step forward he took one step back I also knew this was gonna be a very long road with Jamie And there d be no shortcuts.But it was the road I d chosen But I guess when you haven t felt safe in your home, in your life, since the age of 14, trust and hope are going to be damn hard.Kai understood that From what little I knew of him, I could assume Jamie had morphed into a different person a distant, cold, kind of cynical dude thanks to the helplessness and fear he d been forced to live with All that pain and betrayal had forever changed his relationship with the world and everyone in it So, yeah, sometimes it was just too damned late to say sorry This felt like a quiet story, don t get me wrong, there are a lot of emotions and music and art and interaction, but it felt mature, slow, a realistic development and well paced.I loved how the music and art played such a huge roll for these young men.Jamie is a wonderful artist in his own right and has used his art to make his life bearable He shows it in how he decorates his place, as Kai calls in his crayon box of a crib He uses it to communicate with Kai, to thank people and to help tell his story.I got to know and understand Kai better than Jamie, but seeing how much Kai felt for him, made me love Jamie too I feel Kai changes at least as much as Jamie does, possibly He matures and learns as much as he wants to do things for the man he loves, he also has to let him do it for himself and in his own way.This is a wonderful YA story It is serious but also sweet and hopeful The cover is amazing and the way art and music in all its forms are used to help tell the story was a highlight for me.
www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia s world.
- 230 pages
- Mia Kerick
- 23 March 2019 Mia Kerick