Sunday, 1 September 2013

Greedy Bug Book Reviews Is Moving another blog site!


That's right, Greedy Bug Book Reviews is moving to a newer, shinier WordPress blog. There will be opportunities for interviews with favourite authors and free short reads. The site is easy to navigate and the books are all on display on the home page, so if you like the look you can easily pop in and get all the details you need. We will be adding Twitter and tumblr as well - and we already have our Facebook page  - so we can reach more people and let you know what is happening on this page and in the world of LGBTQ YA books.

At the moment we are moving books across and setting up the new blog. There will be no more books posted on this old site as of September 1st.

If you would like to join the new site we will post the details here some time over the next week.

We can be contacted at

Thank you for following/enjoying Greedy Bug Book Reviews. We're looking forward to seeing you  once we have moved over.

The Greedy Bug Team

Mr Austro-Hungarian
Kazza K

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Appearances Matter (Dumb Jock #3), Jeff Erno

- Review by Trisha

5 out of 5 stars

Appearances Matter (Dumb Jock, #3)

*** This review contains slight spoilers. ***

Appearances Matter is the third book in the Dumb Jock series by Jeff Erno. Like the previous book, the third installment has a brand new couple but features characters from the other two as well. Fans of the series will know how the books go and this one isn’t really that different when all is said and done.

In book three we have Todd and Galen, with Todd being the protagonist. Like the first book, Todd is the nerd in the relationship. He was from the same broken family as the other two nerds, the only difference is his mom was an alcoholic and she was his only parent. That was a major part of the story line. He had a lot of issues with his mother’s problem and it made it difficult for him to make friends.

This book is a perfect example of how things modernise. It’s slightly more accepting than the first and even with the element of hate, it showed parents who accepted and supported their kids in being who they were. The bullies were there, sure. But it didn’t overshadow the acceptance shown by the parents in the end. And that was something I loved about the book.

The secondary characters were again a nice part of the story. I loved seeing Jeff and Brett and Adam and Trevor again. It’s something I love about the series. There were two main villains in this, and they were just plain nasty. But they contributed to the story, mainly the ending.

Todd and Galen’s relationship was nice and I found it to be lovely seeing the boys together. I loved the way Galen admired Todd from a distance before they officially met. Todd admired Galen too, but it’s nice to see the popular guy harbour a crush on the nerd with very few friends. It was something that wasn’t really in the other books and I loved seeing it here.

After Galen came out publically, which we didn’t get to read, he was run over by some of his ‘friends’. That part of the plot was probably disturbing to most, but it tackled the issue of gay bashings and that is not something focused on in the other books. I was so happy to see this book tackle that issue along with the others. It is something I feel strongly about and it was a major aspect of the ending.

The ending of the book was unrealistic. I agree with other reviews that have said this. Personally, I loved the ending. While it was unrealistic, I read it and it left me smiling because it was a HEA. The ending was satisfying, but did leave something open. So I am wondering if the author will go into all that in another book. It kind of feels like that could be why he didn’t explain what happened to the kids who ran Galen over.

I highly recommend Appearances Matter to fans of the first two books in the series. It can be read as a standalone, but it’s better when you know the other couples and characters who are being reintroduced.

This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Another Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock #2), Jeff Erno

- Review by Trisha

5 out of 5 stars

Another Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock, #2)

Another Dumb Jock is the sequel to Jeff Erno’s Young Adult novel, Dumb Jock. It has a new couple and is set in modern day times, unlike Dumb Jock. Adam, Jeff and Brett’s son, is the protagonist and his voice was interesting. In the first book it was Jeff’s point-of-view and he was the nerd. This time we got the jock’s and I found that to be enjoyable.  Having the jock's point-of-view captured my interest immediately as I found that to be unique.

As in the first book, Another Dumb Jock is not very different from the normal nerd/jock trope. Adam and Trevor were an adorable couple. They had a different relationship in comparison to Adam’s two dads. The Dom/sub element was not in this one at all, where it was in the first book. Adam and Trevor's romantic relationship started as a result of an argument. It was kind of funny to read and I thought it was cute that they had the fight in the first place. It was showing a different side to the jocks of the world because Trevor was no pushover.

In this book we had a more modern aspect of the world. People were more accepting and the whole gay dads thing wasn’t overemphasised. It was brought up in regards to bullying but the kids weren’t really tortured because of it.  I think that was a great move on the part of the author. It was how the story started, with Adam getting into a fight about having gay dads, and being taunted about that making him gay. But it didn’t drone on throughout the book.

There were many similarities between Another Dumb Jock and the first book, from the class differences to accepting yourself. It was similar, but never exactly the same. Trevor’s family life was far from ideal, while Adam didn’t struggle as much as his dad had.

I loved that this book featured Jeff and Brett and not only as parents, but as a couple as in love as they were they day they met. I always think it's wonderful to see a couple that I fall in love with last in the long-term. There were actually a few very strong scenes that showed just how strong their relationship was.

The issue of paternity came up and it was handled with sensitivity. I loved Adam’s reaction. He had to accept, with Trevor’s help of course, that he was more like his biological father than he realised. While the two fought, it was because they were so much alike. The revelation did not shock me in the least, although I cannot speak for everyone who has read it.

Again we get the happily-ever-after. Whether that is realistic or not, it’s something I need from my books, regardless of what sub-genre it is. I believe that a HEA is something that is nice to read and it gives people hope. We all want to escape from the real world into books. I have an aunt who married her husband at 16! So yes, these things do happen. I refuse to believe that they never happen in real life because I have seen it myself.

I highly recommend this series to fans of the author, genre, or someone who just wants to read something about teenagers falling in love. A really great read indeed.

Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock #1), Jeff Erno

- Review by Trisha

5 out of 5 stars

Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock, #1)

Dumb Jock was the first Jeff Erno book I ever read. As a result, I became a big fan. When I heard he was re-releasing it, I was very excited. It felt like waiting for a brand new book all over again. And in a sense, that is what it was. The second edition of Dumb Jock has been professionally edited and is now available from Dreamspinner Press.

Told from Jeff’s point-of-view, Dumb Jock is a book about two boys in the eighties, finding themselves and love along the way. It’s not just a romance, though it is that too. Dumb Jock is a journey in one boy's life as he falls in love with the popular jock, Brett.  I am a huge YA fan. I also have a soft spot for nerd/jock stories. Any high school stories really, but the nerd/jock ones especially.

This story proved a couple of things. One is that two people who are very different can come together and find love. Not only were Jeff and Brett worlds apart in school, but in real life too. Brett was rich and came from a wealthy family. Jeff’s family was not so well-off and that is proven in a few scenes between he and his mother. I loved that relationship. More kids, gay ones especially, could do with a mother like his. In the eighties it was an even bigger thing.

Brett and Jeff's relationship had some Dom/sub elements but this is a YA book and is written as such throughout so very little is dedicated to that part of the relationship.  For parts of the book Brett had a girlfriend and I admit that while re-reading it I found it harder to love him like I did the first time. I did eventually come to accept that she was a part of his growth and that he did the right thing… even if he did go back after some pressure. Brett ended up being one of the bravest characters in a book of its kind, though. He also redeemed himself in my eyes.

While I can't say this book was a real tear-jerker, something happened and Jeff lost someone very important to him. The scene itself was written in a way that I personally connected with.  As a child who has lost a parent myself, I must admit it made me see a lot of things. Not everyone will react to those scenes as they will affect everyone differently.

The secondary characters all had their place in the story. Some had a bigger impact while others were there for support. I loved the fact that they weren’t forgotten about in the process of Jeff and Brett becoming a couple. That has happened in a lot of books and I have a problem when I do not like the secondary characters.

I loved the ending. It was one of those fairytale endings that you will either love or hate. As one of the biggest saps when it comes to books, it should be no surprise that I loved the way it all came together. While it may not be believable to everyone, it was to me and I can honestly say I would recommend Dumb Jock to everyone who loves the nerd/jock trope and fans of YA in general.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Greedy Bug is Looking For New Reviewers

Are You Interested in Reviewing Books on Greedy Bug?

Greedy Bug is a book review site that primarily reviews LGBTQIA Young Adult or New Adult books. We have been experiencing some real interest from people reading our reviews and from authors in the genre.

It is hard to keep up with the books that are released and some styles don't necessarily suit the reviewers here. To this end, we would like to hear from Young Adult or New Adult readers who would like to review for Greedy Bug.

What we are looking for -

We want people who are enthusiastic about the genre

We want people who are avid and passionate readers

We want people who finish a book and will then review it

We want people who can write thoughtful reviews - they certainly do not have to be as long as the ones Cindi, Kazza K or Mr Austro-Hungarian post

If you are a young adult, that is terrific. If not, then you will be just like Cindi and Kazza K - we are past our YA days...shhh :)

We want people to also join this blog as it does not look good if you review here but don't endorse the site and what we are doing with the site - supporting LGBTQIA authors and the community

Honesty is the most important aspect for all our reviews. It is not possible to love all books, or even like some of them. However, we do not attack writers, other readers, or other reviewers in our reviews and on this blog.

Very soon Greedy Bug will be moving to a new WordPress site with a lot more features and we would love good reviewers to come across to that venture with us

Free Short Stories -  

We are also looking for people who might like to write short stories - around 1,000 words. These will be offered free for people to read. We will have the facility at the new site to put these up on your behalf with your name attached and you retain the rights to your words/stories. We already have a new, exciting young author with some of his own short stories waiting to go up.

The three admins on this site make it a safe and positive environment. So feel free to contact us at  for more information.

Cindi, Kazza K and Mr A-H

Monday, 12 August 2013

I Know What Gay Is, Foxglove Lee

Official Blurb:
When the couple next door asks Jay to babysit, he can't help wondering… why him? Did they hire Jay as some kind of queer role model because they suspect little Sarah is gay?
At the park, when Sarah and Jay run across the guy he's been pseudo-stalking, Sarah insists she’s a boy. Darien’s sheer sexiness makes Jay pretty brain-dead, and he can't think what to talk about except how Sarah wants everyone to call her Frank.  The funny kid reminds Darien of his transgender cousin.  Could Sarah be trans, too? Should Jay talk to her parents?  What if they say it's none of his business? What if they fire him?
Well, then he'll just have to spend his summer watching Darien work in the park, sweaty and shirtless...

-Review by Kazza K

I Know What Gay IsThe official blurb does a good job of describing this short by Foxglove Lee. So there is not much to add as far as a review is concerned because it is short. So, some of my thoughts and feelings.

The title is something that five year old Sarah mentions to her fill-in babysitter, Jay -

"I know what gay is."
Jay nearly choked on his grilled cheese. "Oh, yeah?"
Sarah gave a resolute nod after wiping her milk moustache off on her sleeve. "Gay is when boys marry boys and girls marry girls."
How in depth should he let this discussion go?

This short is very well written. It combines the realistic thoughts and dialogue of a teenage male, Jay, his babysitting duties, and his crush on a school friend, Darien. The book is light but has a thought provoking and sensitive look at Sarah, the five year old neighbour of Jay who he is babysitting; and the possibilities of a his young neighbour either being lesbian or transgender. Sarah likes dressing in her brother's clothes, she likes playing soccer, does not like playing with other girls, and she wants to be called Frank.

Everything is well written - the age-appropriate way all the characters speak. The way Jay cutely lusts after school friend Darien, who works at the local park. The way Darien is so confident and the fact that he is keen on Jay. And the way they both treat Sarah, aka Frank. The understanding that Jay tries to have at such a young age himself for his young neighbour, and the way the character's interactions makes you think in many ways-

It seemed weird that Annie and Wayne asked specifically for Jay to watch their daughter for the two weeks her regular nanny was on vacation. People usually thought it was weird for guys to spend too much time around kids - especially gay guys, for some stupid reason. Like all gay men were child molesters or something. Ridonculous.
But Annie and Wayne next door obviously didn't think that way, so that was pretty cool.

Sarah is sure of who she is and has chutzpah about it. Her brother has gone to camp and when Jay asked why she wasn't at camp. Sarah explained she wasn't old enough but when she is  -

"They even said when I'm old enough I have to go to girl camp instead. I said I'm a boy too, but they told me no, so I'm gonna sneak into the boy camp and say I'm a boy and they'll believe me because I am one even if Dad said I'm not."

"Sarah, grab your soccer ball. Time to go."
He felt conspicuous like a cat among the pigeons when Sarah didn't answer. Was it just his imagination, or was everybody staring? He couldn't take his eyes off the kid who wouldn't acknowledge him, not for a second. She didn't look up....
All at once , he understood.
"Frank," he called. "It's time to head home. Say bye to your friends."
Gazing at Jay with a cheeky but grateful grin, Sarah picked up her soccer ball.
Frank picked up his soccer ball.

There are lots of quotable lines. Nothing heavy or over the top but all nicely considered and written by the author. I highly recommend this terrific YA short to anyone wanting a quick, cute, yet thought provoking read.

**Some of my extra thoughts**

I am for anything that touches on children not being dismissed out of hand as not knowing how they are feeling about something as important as gender identity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for labelling a five year old, and Foxglove Lee certainly is not doing that here, but I am all for being open and aware as a parent. It is a nice book for both teenage readers along with older YA readers, like me.

I want to add a personal note. By the time our son was five, my husband I had more than an idea he  could quite possibly be gay. I won't go into the whys of that as we didn't care what his sexual orientation was/would be as long as he was/would be happy and a decent person. So this book resonated with me. Children should not be discouraged from feeling a particular way. Talk to your children, don't judge, and don't label. Be prepared and love them as they are precious and they are born the way they are.

4.5 Stars

Saturday, 10 August 2013

About New Releases - For Authors and Publishers

Do You Have A New YA or NA LGBTQIA Book Coming Up For Release?

If you are an author or publisher, Greedy Bug is happy to promote your upcoming YA or NA LGBTQIA new releases. Please submit the following to -

1) The title
2) The author
3) The publisher
4) A synopsis or official blurb
5) Date due for release
6) Length - pages or word count
7) Url for purchase link

 - and we will help promote them here on this blog and on our Facebook page. It is Greedy Bug's desire to help promote YA or NA LGBTQIA books and authors. We want to see this genre grow and we want to let readers know what is available.

It would also help us if a bit more information, apart from the official blurb, was supplied on the book so that we can then add a little extra commentary if necessary. However, this is certainly not mandatory.

Cindi, Kazza K, and Mr Austro-Hungarian.

Tapestry, Hallie Burton


- Review by Trisha

4 out of 5 stars

Tapestry by Hallie Burton was a wonderful story. It was a story that interested me from the blurb. I am always looking to read great YA novels and I enjoyed this one immensely. I think a lot of people will love this novel.

Tallie was happy with his life. He was doing his best to excel and was about to become a Journeyman in the Design Guild. He had a young man who was interested in being his partner and Tallie was about to accept. But his friendship with Jonis, a guildless Bonder, changed things for him. It also caused the two of them to flee with a young, unmarried, pregnant girl, who was the girlfriend of Tallie’s friend, Tommin, a fellow apprentice.

The reason their friendship was an issue is because Ollas was a very cold place. Music and dance were banned. Mothers could not comfort their babies. And physical contact outside of family and marriage/partnership was not allowed. In fact it was punishable to be found in the embrace of someone you were not committed to.

In the beginning, for me anyway, it was obvious that Tallie was meant for Jonis. Worran, the man who was interested in him, did not seem to have his heart the way I like in my main couple. But when he spoke of Jonis… the emotion felt real. With Worran, it was more lust than love. And for me, that was the reason I felt okay about rooting for them. That and the fact that Worran betrayed Tallie.

Tallie and Jonis had a great journey ahead of them and a lot of the time I worried. There were a few scenes throughout the book where one of them was injured, sick, or close to death. If you like that kind of tension, then this book is definitely for you. It captivated me, and while sometimes the pace was a little slow, I still enjoyed the book. The story felt fresh, the characters were lovable, and the romance aspect was sweet.

The characters were all essential to the story. Even the ones I hated were something I loved about the story. It brought the overall story together. Without Worran, we wouldn’t have had the large part of the plot. Without Cather, we would not have had any of the sadness or realism. His part in the story was my favourite as far as secondary characters go.

The ending of this story was a happy one. For me, that is one of the most important things, a happy ending. And we did get closure on a lot of the things brought up here. I was happy to see that because for a while I was in doubt about the ending. So anyone who worries about the ending needn’t worry. This would not be a four star for me without it.

Tapestry is definitely a four star read. But because of it being a little slow in some spots I cannot give it five. But it is definitely a book I would recommend to fans of YA MM novels. This is not short, but it is a very good read with an excellent plot, lovable characters, and a wonderful ending. Tissues might be needed.

This book was provided by Harmony Ink Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Lake Thirteen, Greg Herren

Lake Thirteen

- Review by Cindi

5 out of 5 stars

Scotty Thompson is a year away from graduating high school when he finally gets up the nerve to come out to his parents. Both his mother and father are amazing and accept him immediately. Being an only child makes his mother give up her dream of someday becoming a grandmother (she believes) but otherwise she and his father handle the news well. His boyfriend Marc, on the other hand, isn't quite so lucky.  His father is a lazy, bigoted homophobe who is known to yell and scream slurs every chance he gets. These slurs are not aimed at Marc directly because no way is Marc brave enough to tell his father he is gay. They are aimed at the world at large.

Marc's dad was horrible, just the kind of man who would throw his son out for being gay without a second thought. 

His dad was always home, it seemed, with a beer in his hand. Mr. Krueger didn't work--he'd gotten an enormous settlement from a work accident a few years before they moved to Framington.

Mr. Krueger was always yelling about faggots and blacks and Mexicans and feminists and pretty much anything the television told him he was supposed to be angry about.

Marc and Scotty keep their relationship between themselves and Scotty's parents, knowing that once they both go off to college in a year that Marc will no longer be under his father's influence and he will be able to live freely as a gay male with the man he loves.

Scotty is forced to go on vacation with his parents and he will be away from home, and Marc, for a week. The trip is an annual event that Scotty's parents and two other couples (and their children) have done for as long as Scotty can remember. Each family comes from a different part of the United States every year and they take turns picking the location for the week-long vacation.  This year the location is the Mohawk Lodge and Resort on the shores of Lake Thirteen in upstate New York.  Scotty and his four friends, twins Logan and Teresa and siblings Carson and Rachel, have grown up together on these trips but their friendships have waned over time because no longer are they little kids excited about spending a week together. Each new year is the same. The first few days are awkward as the teens slowly get to know each other again and by the end of the week they are all as close as before, only to have the pattern repeat itself year after year.

But now that we were teens, we were like five strangers with a shared past. The last few years, it seemed to take a few days before everyone stopped sulking about having to come and decided to make the most of the situation.

Scotty is terrified of the trip this year. None of his friends knew he was gay until he sent them all an email a week before his family departed for New York.  There was no response from any of them. So not only is he leaving Marc behind for a week but he has no idea of what he is walking into when he sees Logan, Teresa, Carson and Rachel again. Will they not want to hang out with him anymore because he's gay?  Because of the lack of response from his email, he is convinced the trip will be miserable.  Not only is he forced to be away from the boy he loves but he will most likely be stuck with four other teenagers who refuse to accept him for who he is, though he is still the same person they have known their entire lives.  The fear of his friends being homophobic is the least of his worries it turns out.  The typical, annual vacation turns out to be anything but for the five teens, though their parents remain, thankfully, oblivious.

After a few missed turns the caravan of vehicles finally makes it to the lodge but not without the teens seeing a road that obviously has a cemetery.  The families come together as a group (after only a quick greeting at the airport) and all the teens are stuck trying to get to know each other again as a year has passed since they were all together in the same room.  Scotty's fear of his friends' views of his homosexuality quickly disappears later when the vacation truly takes hold. Carson and Rachel's father works on a paranormal television program so Carson (who is a believer) discovers there is a cemetery and he jumps on the idea of making a visit to try to communicate with spirits. Somehow he talks the others into going (without the parents knowing) even though it's dark outside.  What happens at the cemetery begins a story so creepy and so haunting that I was scared of what would happen next.

Scotty is immediately drawn to one particular grave, that of Albert Tyler who died in 1907 and had the same birthday as Scotty, June 10th. The night is warm and muggy but Scotty is freezing.  He feels a sense of deep despair unlike anything he's ever felt before. He can't walk away from the grave of young Albert, who has long since left the world.

As I knelt next to the tombstone, an overwhelming sense of sadness swept over me. It was so intense that I felt tears swimming up in my eyes. My heart was breaking, and I had to stifle a sob. 

Why do I feel so bad for these people I don't even know?  What's wrong with me?  Why is this affecting me so strongly?

And Marc flashed into my head, saying good-bye to him last night, and the sad look on his face as we hugged at the front door, and how he'd said I don't know, I'm just afraid I'll never see you again before he walked down the driveway and down the street to his own house, and how weird that had been, but I'd felt sad, lonely, and empty.

The others have odd experiences that night but none like Scotty. They return to their respective cabins and the nightmares begin for Scotty.  But are they nightmares? It starts with an eerie voice calling out "Bertieeeeeeee" in misery and it ends up with Scotty in the pitch-black woods searching for the source. The sadness from the cemetery has returned and Scotty knows in his heart that he must go into the woods to help whoever is crying out in so much agony.   This begins a series of scary events. The dreams (or visions) are so real that Scotty is convinced that he is actually part of them. He keeps seeing a young man in his dreams and each one looks exactly like Marc,  his boyfriend Marc, who is waiting for him back home.

Over the next few days other things start to happen for Scotty and his friends. Scotty can sometimes stand at one place in the woods or in town and instantly be in a trance-like state to his friends but to him, he is back to a time of over a hundred years prior, seeing Marc's lookalike each time. While he shares everything else with his friends, he is hesitant to mention the man but he is forced to later when things start to spiral out of control. This leads to a scary journey for not only Scotty but for the others as well.  After a little research they find out about the lodge and its previous owners, the Tylers. The son, Albert, was murdered in 1907 and Scotty is convinced that what he is seeing in his visions and dreams are the events that led to young Albert's death. There is a menacing presence and over time the others feel it as well. When they discover an old, abandoned cabin in the woods is when they know they must solve the murder of Albert Tyler before they leave. During research they discover the name of the person suspected of killing Albert, Robert Shelby, who disappeared at the exact same time that Albert did.  A man who the town was convinced murdered the teen. A man with a past.

... and the caption underneath read "Pervert Robert Shelby: Wanted for the Murder of Albert Tyler."

I swallowed. "Pervert?"

Then there is Marc.  Scotty and Marc had been best friends for years but only became a couple the year before. While they aren't actually physically together in the book (though there are a couple of quick flashbacks), their story is told and it is told well. It is a very sweet young love story. Without much cellular signal at the lodge, Scotty and the others are forced to go to certain spots on the property in order to have service and even then it is sporadic. Internet is limited to one room in the lodge.  When Scotty doesn't receive any texts from Marc, he grows concerned and he is convinced that something seriously bad is happening back at home. He eventually gets one or two but they don't feel right to Scotty. Something is happening but Scotty has no idea what it could be. He is concerned about his boyfriend and his unstable father, on top of the happenings at Lake Thirteen.  He feels that somehow, though it makes little sense to him, the two are connected.

This book is amazing. There is no other way to describe it.  The way the author brings everything together is just that.. amazing. Scotty is taken back in time again and again and he believes that he is seeing through the eyes of Albert.  Or is he seeing through the eyes of Robert? Did the two men love each other in life as he suspects? Or was that love one-sided? Why does the man in the visions look exactly like Marc?  Who or what is the menacing presence that Scotty and his friends are convinced is out to harm them and who they believe is the one responsible for killing Albert? What happened to Robert?  Did he run off as the town people suspected because he had killed Albert?  And the main question for Scotty is what is happening with the boy he loves back home? Are the two things connected? If so, how can that be?

All questions are answered and they are answered brilliantly.  I have read others by this author (Timothy and others by his pseudonym) and I have enjoyed them all but I have to say that he has outdone himself with Lake Thirteen. There is mystery, romance, sadness and a major creep factor. You will instantly fall in love with all of the characters whether they are dead or alive. You will eagerly be turning the pages in order to see what will happen next and to see how in the world the author will explain everything that's going on in the present and what happened over a hundred years ago.  In the end, you will be quite pleased with the outcome. I was.  This is an easy 5 stars for me. Greg Herren has jumped on my favorites list.

This book was provided by Net Galley and Bold Strokes Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

September New Releases


 Eagerly Awaited September YA Releases.

-Kazza K

Two highly anticipated new releases are scheduled with September release dates. The first book is Cody Kennedy's Omorphi. Omorphi's official release date has been confirmed as September 19th. Interestingly there is a forward by J P Barnaby which is poignant and telling. The foreword supports the story of Christy Castle, who has suffered much in his young life, and who sees hope in his friend and love interest Michael Sattler and his family. The thing to like about Cody Kennedy's writing is that he speaks from the heart and with much passion about issues that are darker at times, but have humour and always much hope amongst the reality that some teenagers find themselves living. Cody Kennedy knows the young adult market well and gives them something genuine, something they can relate to. The official blurb is as follows -

High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy's boyfriend would entail.

Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy's combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.

For those of you who have read the wonderful Safe by Cody Kennedy it will be a definite must-buy. The author also writes the ongoing series Fairy which has attracted a large, devoted following, including myself and Mr Austro-Hungarian. If you look on this blog you will find two reviews of Safe, one by Mr A-H
and one by Kazza K

We don't usually do two reviews of one book but one is from a young gay male's perspective and the other from an older YA reader's perspective.

So Greedy Bug highly recommends grabbing a copy of Omorphi from Harmony Ink when it is released on September 19th.

The next release that we are eagerly anticipating here at Greedy Bug Book Reviews is A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Mayfield, aka J P Barnaby. The official release date is September 5th from Harmony Ink. I read the adult version, Aaron, which has met with much critical acclaim. Aaron was also #6 on my favourite books of 2012.  The main characters, Aaron and Spencer are lovely, and I am glad that this has been released as an LGBT YA book to reach a market that needs to have hope, to know that bad things happen to good people, and that things can get better. Once again, tellingly, Cody Kennedy has written a forthright and heartfelt foreword for A Broken Kind of Life as a wonderful introduction and endorsement of the topic at hand. The official blurb is as follows -

Aaron Downing is broken, barely clinging to the hope that one day, he will be normal again. His life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear, but he perseveres and starts college, determined to move on.
Then Aaron gets assigned to work with Spencer Thomas for his programming project. Aaron doesn’t want Spencer to think he’s a freak, but as he gets to know his new deaf friend, he figures out he doesn’t need to be “normal.” If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough to find his footing again. 
Or so Aaron thinks until his parents begin talking about institutionalizing him to give his brothers a more stable life. He searches desperately to find a way to cope or even to fake normalcy. But his new shrink’s instability makes conquering his demons that much more difficult, and his attraction to Spencer threatens to send Aaron spinning out of control.

Both authors are to be commended for their efforts in sending the message that abuse need not define you. Sure, the after effects are devastating on the abused, but you can survive, thrive, and live well. I like the concept of both books that say you are not alone, even though you may feel this is the case at the time. Life can get better it just takes someone special to reach out to, or they reach out to you. There are people who care in this world and you need to look for them. Don't ever give up no matter how hard it might seem now.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Suicide Notes, Michael Thomas Ford

- Review by Cindi

4.5 out of 5 stars

Suicide Notes
Suicide Notes is told from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old boy. After finishing it, I went back and read other reviews and was quite surprised over what I found. There are a lot of comments about it being too juvenile or too teenage-like. It is supposed to be read that way as the entire story is told by Jeff, a fifteen-year-old boy who chronicles his time in a pediatric psychiatric ward after attempting suicide. It is told in the words of a fifteen-year-old and it is told from the mindset of a fifteen-year-old. If you are looking for something more 'adult' or that is not written in the words of a teenage boy, I suggest reading another book. The blurb clearly states what the book is about so do not go into it expecting more than what it says. While I don't normally post official blurbs in my reviews, I am in this case for the reasons I mentioned.

Blurb, taken from Goodreads: 
I'm not crazy.  I don't see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it's a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts.
Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on -- the crazies start to seem less crazy.
Compelling, witty, and refreshingly real, Suicide Notes is a darkly humorous novel from award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford that examines the fuzzy lines between "normal' and the rest of us.  
Jeff is confined to a psychiatric ward for forty-five days after attempting suicide on New Year's Eve. Told in first person by Jeff, he chronicles his confinement with each new day. Initially there is denial and the typical attitude of a teenage boy who is convinced that he doesn't belong with the other 'crazies' as he describes them. But with each day Jeff starts to realize that maybe he is exactly where he needs to be after all. 

I know they're hoping I'll say something about why I did what I did. So for the record: I just felt like it.

"You can't keep me here against my will," I informed him. "In case you don't know, this is the land of the free. People have rights. I have the right to free speech, and to bear arms, and to not be locked up in a nuthouse!"
I knew what I was talking about. I mean, I've read the Constitution. In sixth grade, and I don't remember exactly what it said. But still.

My name is Jeff. I'm fifteen. I have a sister named Amanda who's thirteen, my parents are still married to each other, and all four of us live in a perfectly nice neighborhood in a perfectly nice city that's exactly like a billion other cities. My parents have never beaten us, I've never been molested by a priest, I don't hate the other kids at my school any more than is normal for a kid my age, I don't listen to death metal, have an obsession with violent video games, or cut the heads off small animals for fun.
That's pretty much everything I told Cat Poop in our session today.

There is an interesting set of secondary characters who Jeff comes in contact with while in the hospital. There is his psychiatrist Dr. Katzrupus (aka Cat Poop to Jeff), Nurse Goody (Nurse Goody. Can you believe that? Her name is actually Nurse Goody. And she is, too. Good, I mean. She's always smiling and asking me if she can get me anything. I bet Nurse Goody is standing outside the door selling tickets, like those guys at carnivals who try to get people to pay to see the freak show), Nurse Moon (One of the night nurses, whose name I think is Nurse Moon... okay, maybe not, but I don't know her real name), Carl (a night security guard), as well as others.  The most interesting are the other patients. There is Alice whose problems are quite severe and who has a flair for the dramatic. Bone is a mystery as his problems aren't made known. There is Juliet, who is convinced she is in a relationship with Bone, though Bone says otherwise. There is Martha who is very quiet but has her reasons for being so. There is Sadie who wants everyone to believe she is this strong person but who in reality is suffering worse than she lets on. There is Rankin, a high school jock who feels that the world should revolve around him. Rankin plays a huge part in Jeff's story and not necessarily in a good way. Good or bad, Rankin forces Jeff to accept some things that he would have preferred not to. There are other patients but none as significant to the book as those I mentioned.

Then we get to Marjorie and Eric, Jeff's parents. Jeff also has a younger sister, Amanda. Jeff's parents are good people but they could never possibly understand what goes on inside the mind of their fifteen-year-old son. They love him. They support him.  They are proud of him. But they are not overly affectionate and each has a difficult time showing their love, though Jeff knows beyond doubt that it is there.  Amanda is the perfect little sister. She is not in the book much but when she is, I found myself smiling. Anyone would be lucky to have Amanda as a sister. 

"Jeff, is there anything you would like to say to your parents?" Cat Poop said when we'd all been quiet for what seemed like years.
Is there anything I'd like to say to them? I thought. Yeah, there was. Why didn't you just let me die? for starters. Why'd you have to come home early from your stupid party? Why'd you have to put me in this place with a bunch of whack-jobs?

There is a lot of dark humor in this book and I know that sounds odd considering the subject matter. I found myself laughing at Jeff's attitude and actions on more than one occasion. His daily visits with Doctor Katzrupus gave me an entirely new appreciation for every therapist who has ever treated teenagers.  Jeff does not make things easy with 'Cat Poop' but the good doctor is extremely patient and is able to see right through Jeff. I found myself saying "Yes!" each time the doctor got under Jeff's skin and forced him to face his issues.

"I don't belong here," I informed Cat Poop, thinking this just hadn't occurred to him. "These people are seriously demented. It's not good for me to be around them. I might catch something."

"I did it because . . ." I hesitated, blinking and sniffling a little, like I might start to cry at any second. "I did it because . . . because I couldn't stand to live in the same world as Paris Hilton."

All is not humorous, however, as it deals with a very serious subject. Parts are heartbreaking and Jeff must find a way to face the issues that brought him to the hospital in the first place. He fights the doctor every step of the way.

"There is no reason," I said. I was getting angry because he wasn't listening to me. "I just did it. I'm a teenager. We get bored and do stupid stuff. Now I'm over it and I want to go home."

The reader is not made aware of the reasons for Jeff's suicide attempt until long into the book but by this time, it's pretty much figured out anyway.  Perhaps not the entire story, but the gist of it. This is another thing that I read in other reviews of this story. Some people felt let down when Jeff finally confessed why he did what he did because it was supposedly too predictable.  I did not. I felt that the reveal was written beautifully and that everything that came before it was necessary for his healing. 

Suicide Notes delves into a very serious subject, a subject that unfortunately is all too prevalent in the world today. Each day it seems like I am reading something online about yet another teenager who has committed suicide because of their sexual orientation. While this book is about Jeff, it is also about other teens who feel that they are also at the end of their rope for various reasons. My heart breaks knowing that people get to this point. In Jeff's case, it was because of his sexuality. In Sadie's and others, it was about other issues.  I applaud the author for taking a serious subject and spotlighting it. I am just sad that it is necessary.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed a lot and I have to say I got teary a couple of times as well. While Jeff's story is sometimes told in a humorous way, the author still makes it very clear that the teen is dealing with very serious emotional issues.  I only had one problem with the book and this is why my rating is 4.5 instead of a full 5 stars. While the book is told exactly in the way in which it should have been told, I would have liked to have seen an epilogue giving the reader information of what happened later. There are a few things left unresolved (in my opinion) and I was hoping to see that explained.  Otherwise, an outstanding book and highly recommended.  There is a bit of language and sex talk and a few sexual situations that some might find disturbing.  Also, some things happen with Sadie and with Rankin (in separate instances) that may put some off. Keep that in mind before reading.

For more information about suicide prevention, visit The Trevor Project. Taken from the official website: The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The 7th of London, Beau Schemery

- Review by Trisha

3.5 out of 5 stars

The 7th of London is a beautifully written Steampunk, YA novel. It was my very first Steampunk novel, as well as my first by the author, Beau Schemery. I was captivated by the writing and the world building in this book. The author definitely has a natural talent for the genre as well as writing. 
The 7th of London

I want to start by saying that I adored the fact that Seven was of Irish decent. Even though this is a historical novel, some of the words used are still used today in Ireland. I am always looking to read books in the mm genre with characters from Ireland. The dialogue was also very good when you consider the accents, even when it was a bit stiff.

The story is based in London, England in the 1800’s. Seven, the main character, is an orphan. His family died tragically in separate incidents that Seven witnessed. The book starts off relatively slowly. It builds gradually but then the pace of the story speeds up, allowing the reader to get drawn into the story. I’m one of the unfortunate few as I got lost at different points of the story, which hindered my enjoyment. But the writing was good enough to keep me reading.

The story in general is told from Seven’s POV. But sometimes we get Silas or another character. When the switches happened, I was able to follow that part easily. I knew when it happened and felt that it all flowed well throughout. Unfortunately, I was not able to keep up with the overall plot. I found myself rereading scenes and trying to figure out what was going on. I loved the names, though sometimes I felt that there were too many of them in one scene. I appreciate a large number of characters, but sometimes I like it when there are less introduced at one time. The names and nicknames of the characters being used sometimes made me stop for a minute.  Kettlebent, aka. Silas was the easiest for me to remember for some reason.

I enjoyed watching Seven and Silas’ relationship development. It felt natural and it really was a great part of the story. Both boys could be so shy, and at the same time so sure. There was a slight bit of jealousy on Silas’ part. I love a good couple in a book and these two were the right amount of sweet for me to enjoy this story. They take a while to get together, but there is always a little something there.

There was a degree of violence in this book. It worked well with the story and the characters, Midnight and Seven especially. The fight scenes at the end were well written, with just the right knowledge on the authors behalf to keep it all YA, which is something that can cause issues. The blurb tells the main plot, which indicates that fight scenes could happen. So, if anyone has issues with any level of violence they should stay away from this book because it is kind of hinted at in the blurb.

This book is angsty. In fact it has a lot of death inside. Seven didn’t seem to have a whole lot of luck and normally that wouldn’t bother me. In The 7th of London, however, I didn’t really feel as much of the emotion. There was a scene in which Seven and Silas were talking about Seven’s past and his life after his parents were killed, in which I felt all the emotion I would have liked to have felt in the rest of the book. It just felt like a lot of drama and not enough of emotion. I did enjoy a few of those scenes and maybe had it been less depressing I would have enjoyed it more.

I liked Midnight, aka. Jonathan or Jack. See what I mean about the names? His character was particularly surprising. He was known as a criminal but I didn’t really see it. He just appeared, to me anyway, to be a character who wanted to right all the wrongs. In a sense, it was like he and Seven were alike in that regard. Seven wanted revenge for what happened to his siblings.

There is a HEA in this book, and it was well earned. After all the loss in his life, Seven actually had someone left at the end. I admit it brought my overall rating up a little bit. Had the ending not been as lovely as it was, I would have had a major issue rating this book anything higher than a two, and I hate giving low ratings. As a lot of others have said, I don’t want to ruin the things that happen. But I felt the need to point out some of the things I really did love or like.

Overall, the 7th of London is a very good Steampunk novel. For fans of Steampunk I think this will be a great hit. But for people like me, it could be a hit and miss. My rating is 3.5 stars, rounded up because although this was not for me, I did enjoy the writing and the MC’s relationship.

This book was provided by Harmony Ink Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Deep in the Count (Love Has No Boundaries), Madison Parker

- Review by Cindi

5 out of 5 stars

Deep in the Count
My luck with YA/NA books with jocks and nerds hasn't always been that great. For some reason when I pick one up they are always the same story: The jock is in the closet and falls in love with the nerd. The nerd is either hesitant to date the jock or is too clingy. The jock ends up hurting the nerd because someone discovered the jock's love for men and his reputation is on the verge of being in tatters.

Deep In the Count?  Not even close to the others I've read. 

Brandon is a star baseball player at Virginia Tech University. He's openly gay and has no problem with people knowing.  He is a popular pitcher and never lacks for friends. Brandon is out and he's totally not ashamed of who he is or the fact that he is attracted to men. The girls want to date him anyway. The guys want to be him or at least spend time with him. His jock boy reputation is just fine, thank you very much, gay or no.

His best friend Jack is very straight but accepts him for who he is.  Jack is the stereotypical jock. His roommate, Corey, is the complete opposite of him and the dorm room proves this. Jack's side is a disaster. Corey's is perfectly organized with nothing out of place. During a visit to Jack's room Brandon discovers that Jack's roommate is gay. Corey isn't there at the time but that gets Brandon thinking. Corey is a nerd and Brandon has always had a thing for the smarter guys. 

"Is he cute?"
"Really? You're asking me if he's cute? This conversation is getting way too gay."
"Well, he ain't Zac Efron.  He wears glasses.  And he's always playing with one of those Rubik's cubes.  He's like, off-the-charts not cool."
"I bet he's really smart, though."
"He's a freaking brainiac, and I'm sure he thinks we're a couple of dumbass jocks. Guys like him don't hang out with guys like us."
.. Brandon sighed. "Yeah. You're probably right."

A few days later Brandon is having problems in a math class so he goes to the tutoring center. If he didn't pass his math class, he'd be at risk of being placed on academic probation, which could cost him his scholarship.  Without baseball, what the hell was he going to do with himself? There he finally gets to meet the elusive Corey. It doesn't take long before Brandon is letting Corey know that he's interested in more than just tutoring but Corey is hesitant. Corey has his entire life planned out and he has no desire... or time... to get involved in any type of relationship much less with a jock who has yet to decide what he wants to do in the future. This kind of starts a back and forth that turned sexy quick. Corey's way of 'teaching' Brandon the math he needs is cute and it's sexy though Corey doesn't so much as allow a kiss. But Brandon has a plan that will speak to Corey's nerd side and I have to say it was one of the most unique ways of 'wooing' someone I've ever read.

I fell in love with these guys immediately. It is refreshing to see a jock written in a book that is not trying to hide who he is. Brandon knew what (and who) he wanted and he set out to win the man of his dreams. Corey is not your stereotypical nerd either.  Oh sure, he's a smart guy and he focuses a lot on his studies but he knows (eventually) that he wants Brandon and when Brandon starts trying to win him with something dear to his heart he knows he's sunk.

I'm a total baseball freak so this short was right up my alley. Not only is it about baseball but the author uses baseball terms to help Brandon with his tutoring. There's even a glossary of baseball terms at the end of the book.  And here I thought I knew all there was to know about baseball. I just learned new terms that I didn't even know existed.  I won't dare say which ones were new to me as I'd never hear the end of it from my baseball-lovin' sons. Ah, but not all is great. Brandon is a Boston Red Sox fan (this reviewer is a huge New York Yankees fan, as in obsessed New York Yankees fan.  For those who follow MLB you know the two most definitely do not go together).  I was able to overlook that as it was only mentioned once. :D

There is a great set of secondary characters from Jack to Corey's bestie, Samantha (who lives 1,000 miles away and communicates with Corey via text or Skype). 

The way that Brandon gets Corey to rethink his 'anti-dating' stance is via messages left for him in code.  Corey is studying cryptology so this is the perfect way to be won over. The last message is left for the reader to decipher. The author gives hints and even a website to go to for help or to just solve the code. I'm ADHD so I admit to cheating and using the site to decipher the final message though looking at it now I could have easily figured it out without any help. This is yet another unique part of this story.

I fell in love with this author's writing style when I read another short of hers a few months back. I quickly became a fan and have since read her others. I would have a difficult time picking a favorite but Deep in the Count is up there.  It's funny.  It's sexy. It's really, really cute.  Highly recommended.

Overall, a great short. I loved all the characters and I found the story to be unique. I love how the author made each character 'out' so the story focused on getting the men together, not the trials of being in a relationship with one or both in the closet.  Another great read by Madison Parker.

This was written as a part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's "Love Has No Boundaries" event.  

This short story was reviewed for this blog at the request of the author.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

My Life as a Myth, Huston Piner


If you're not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

-Oscar Wilde

-Review by Kazza K

My Life as a Myth by Huston PinerIt's August 27th, 1969. And it's Nick Horton's first day of high school. He feels like a text book case of a loser. He doesn't have many friends and school is not a joy. He's certainly not overly confident and feels somewhat like an outcast -

A social life? I don't have one; the few acquaintances I have don't really count. If I vanished out of their lives, they'd never notice. My only real friend is Bruce Philemon, he says I just need to try harder. So to help me try harder, I'm starting this journal.

And that is exactly what Nick does. He starts a journal and that is how this book is told.

While Nick is waiting for the bus home, Andy Framingham decides to chat up a girl.When the girl's older and larger boyfriend is going to show him just how he feels about that, Andy throws a can of coke down on the pavement spraying everyone with the contents -

Just as they prepared to kill Andy and hide the corpse, Mr Wiggins, the elementary school principal came running from the building. He yanked Andy out of harm's way and announced he would report everyone to the high school principal.
"Horton? I remember you, still making trouble, eh? Well, this time Mr Fuddle will see you pay for it."

This starts off a series of events in Nick's life. Nick really isn't trouble. He just wants to go to school, not get beaten up, not be embarrassed in PE -

The way some of them show off makes me very nervous. Talk about embarrassing! You'd think "faggot" was my name! Today I just tried to keep my head down, change fast, and get out of there.

...and the change rooms, have some friends and a bit of a social life, ride the bus in peace, get a locker in a better location - not on Dead Student's Row, as he names it - and go home every day without much drama. But the list that Mr Wiggins gives the principal at his high school has his name at the top for the coke-can-fountain incident, not Andy Framingham. Then a few other events occur where Nick is the one seen to be doing something he shouldn't. But the real bombshell occurs when Nick mixes up the name of the film he is to meet Bruce at, and ends up in a theatre watching Fellini's Satryicon. The film is a bit of a revelation, so much so it is raided by the police, he is taken out like a criminal, photos are taken, he makes the news and the front paper of the local paper. Nick is suddenly a rebel.

Meanwhile, Nick has come to the attention of Jesse Gaston and his gang - Gary, Matt, and Bobby Warren. Jesse is an interesting character who seems to get intense delight in taking Nick under his wing and talking up his bad boy persona. When Nick jokes that he is Napalm Nick Jesse runs with that name. Napalm Nick is a good rebel's name, something he can work with. And work with it Jesse does. Jesse is the ultimate school spin-doctor -

Every time I attempted to reveal the truth about how I ended up at a movie destined to be raided, Jesse always jumped in to enlarge on my magnificence, my audacity, and my criminal invincibility.

I've come to realize that it is useless to argue with Jesse Gaston. When he decides to do something he can come up with a hundred reasons to convince you to go along.

And very soon Nick becomes cool. Rumours spread, aided by Jesse. The girls all want to be with him, guys want to be seen with him, and his social life has never looked better. The thing is, Nick is not Napalm Nick, he's just a fourteen year old trying to find his way and discovering bit by bit that he isn't attracted to girls. He is, however, attracted to guys and in particular he's attracted to Bobby Warren.

Nick comes from a fairly typical suburban family of the era - his mum stays at home, his dad works, there are rules, but a certain amount of freedom. And, oh yes, he has two older brothers, Nathan who died in Vietnam after being drafted, and Raymond who has disappointed the family by growing his hair, and dropping out to live in a commune - very sixties. Neither name is allowed to be spoken in the household for the last three years for different reasons. Pretty hard on a young boy who just wants to talk about his brothers. But, once again, fairly typical of many families of any era, just change the war.

Increasingly, Nick is realising that girls just aren't who/what he finds attractive. He tries everything to see if he can be like other guys who talk about girls. Who like Playboy. But perplexingly (at first) he's not. He also isn't enjoying being Napalm Nick. It's not who he is either, but it's better than being a loser...and there are perks. Plus there's a protection in the group and he cant bring too much attention on himself for other reasons - 

Damn it! The truth is maybe I do sort of like guys. I just don't know. But I can't let Jesse and the guys think I'm a fag. Okay. I'll be Napalm Nick for a month or two longer. Maybe after things die down I can move on and be a normal teenager again. That's not too much to ask, is it?

But Jesse continues to weave his magic and the rumour mill just chugs along. Nick also makes a friend with a senior, Brian. Brian is a popular jock but he likes Bobby and is rather mellow and very much full of live and let live philosophy. There was definitely more of a story to Brian and I would like to know more about him. Meanwhile, Nick and Bobby are growing closer and closer. Nick gets to stay over at Bobby's. He lives in the FROG - front room over garage - and his parents are former beatniks who are liberal in their thinking. Nick and Bobby discover a lot of things together, their likes are similar,  they are both sweet, young boys, they are gay, they grow close as friends and fairly soon they are intimate with each other. The author does a good job of displaying teenagers - their language, their fears, their worries, their intensity of feelings. After Nick wakes up naked next to Bobby the first time -

I dried my hair with the damp towel. Bobby had rolled over and snored quietly, now clutching a pillow. I finished dressing and watched him sleep for a minute, taking in how perfect he was from head to toe. My God, he's beautiful, I thought, and I felt myself stiffen. It took me a couple of minutes to tear myself away from just admiring him.
There are some things you just know you'll remember all your life and I knew right then that even when I'm a hundred, remembering him sleeping like that will bring out the same feelings in me.

To later when they are intimate -

Then something in me snapped, and all my frustrations transformed into desire. When we got to my room, I closed and locked the door behind me. I put my hand on Bobby's shoulder, turned him around, took him in my arms, and kissed him. His eyes told me it was unexpected but welcome, and we fell onto the bed.
I felt him up and loosened his shirt and trousers. He stiffened as I ran my fingers through his hair. He moaned softly and at that moment, I don't think I could have stopped myself it I tried.
Right now Bobby's sleeping next to me. He's beautiful when he sleeps. I can't believe how much I love him. It's not just the physical stimulation I get from him. It makes me just as happy to do things for him as when he does things to me. It's even enough just to be with him, like now, and to know that he loves me as much as I love him.

And the two boys do fall very much in love. But life is not easy. Napalm Nick is a lot to live up to. Jesse complicates this immeasurably and everywhere Nick turns there is pressure - girls he isn't interested in wanting more, being gay but having to hide it, being a rebel that he isn't. A new series of events as someone is blowing up trashcans at school and one of the teachers is now tailing him everywhere he goes as they believe Napalm Nick is the person behind it.

Then there are family matters ready to take centre stage in Nick's life. His brother - Raymond - comes home unexpectedly for Christmas. He hitch hikes from San Francisco and while their mother is glad to see him, their father isn't. But Raymond stays and cleans himself up - a shave, a hair cut - and even his father is feeling better about Raymond now. Nick is glad to have his brother home and he feels that Christmas is better for having him there. There is much to learn about one another in a short time - like Nick is now smoking pot, cigarettes, drinking beer, and taking magic mushies -

He and I snuck off to get high before supper. This time he provided the weed....He called the marijuana Acapulco Gold, whatever it is, it's damn potent. When we got home and wandered into the kitchen, both smiling from ear to ear and giggling, my mother cracked us up saying how nice it was to see her "two little boys" having so much fun together.

 But Raymond has a secret and when it is revealed things will never be the same in the Horton family again.

I won't say anymore about the plot because I will ruin the book and it is best read. What I will add is this. Every chapter is headed up with a song title of the period that is incredibly apt. The last two chapters were beautifully named. Perhaps some people may feel unsure about the use of drugs or alcohol by minors, but this is what was happening at the time. Still does now. It isn't glorified, it's just part of the times and the story. Did every kid experiment in the 60's? No. But a lot did. The 60's was a crazy era of change mixed with a lingering conservatism. I lived during this era, was around the same age as the characters and I did all of these things...and then some. The music listed - I had every single one - bar the jazz - on vinyl. The attitudes that are portrayed were so real. The culture. But
here's the thing, this book translates well to today. There is still the group mentality, the homophobia. How difficult it is to be an outcast at school. How the word "faggot" is more than just a name. How friends can turn on you and the hurt that is associated. The fracturing of a family. The mistakes parent's make, and the repercussions. There are some real messages that are not lost between 1969 and 2013.

My Life as a Myth is one of the most realistic LGBTQ YA books that has crossed my desk and I encourage anyone who may be remotely interested to read this book. I am so glad I did. I will also add this -  there is no HEA. I say this because some people will rate badly if that is the case and they are not aware of it. So, I'm throwing that out there as much as I don't want to have to say that.

If you like a period piece. If you are interested in the 60's. If you like LGBTQ YA, if you like humour, a message, young love, and can handle a bittersweet piece of fiction that is firmly rooted in reality, then please do yourself a favour and read the beautifully written, wonderfully named My Life as a Myth.

5 Stars

It may be hard to be true to yourself, especially if you're different and people hate you for it; but it's still harder living your life as a myth. It's a lie and in the end it's self-defeating. In the long run, it's better to let people know the real you. It may be hard, but it's a lot less complicated, and at least you find out who your real friends are.
If you love someone, go on and tell them. If they can't love you just because you're different, you're better off without them. And when you find someone who loves you too, don't let anybody or anything stand in your way.
- Bobby Warren.