My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is engaging and emotional for the first three quarters but somehow loses its vitality and depth in the final quarter for me. Perhaps it was because I read the book in two sittings? Maybe I should have powered on through the night to read it in one?
Griffin is not coping with the tragic death of his ex-boyfriend Theo. Although if we are perfectly honest, Griffin hasn’t been coping with life in a fully functional way for the last couple of years. Griffin is still talking to Theo in his head even after the funeral. He has a list of oddities and rituals that he needs to complete to keep himself calm. Griffin feels that the only other person who can fully understand what he is going through is the boy that stole Theo away, Jackson. An unlikely friendship of sorts develops, leading to a whole mess of emotions and situations.
This book was gripping until it wasn’t. The relationships felt real until they felt forced. The friendships were viable until they became predictable. Silvera writes a delightful love story between Griffin and Theo told in flashbacks and then reveals the dark side of revenge and regret. We explore the raw grief and the aftermath of pain. The weather is the perfect foil to the whole book. The guilt that some many people feel about the death of Theo makes you understand the universal structure of guilt.
Theo is dead from the outset of this book, but feels a very real presence in the narrative. Jackson, the ‘other’ man is a little two dimensional for me and Wade, the third wheel in the initial group of Theo, Griffin and Wade plays a minor role until the end when he becomes little more that an obvious rebound man in Griffins life.
Mostly strong until the ending lets this book down.