High school seniors Ellis and Dale are as different as day and night, or so Ellis believes. Ellis loves to write, while Dale loves soccer. Ellis has only a handful of friends, and Dale is Mr. Popularity. But when they’re partnered up for an AP English project, Ellis learns different can be good. Really good.
Dale Stephens has it all: friends, a hot girlfriend, mad soccer skills—and a secret. He’s bisexual, but because he’s never been in love with a boy, it’s always been easier to keep that part of himself hidden. Until Ellis changes everything.
As their love grows, Dale realizes it’s Ellis he wants to be with—only he’s not ready for the world to know about them, especially after the way his mom reacts to the news.
But when they are outed by a bully who has made a career out of tormenting Ellis, Dale and Ellis must face down their fears and try to stay together. What will happen when the bully goes too far? Will Ellis come out of it unscathed?
This was such a sweet story. I loved watching Ellis and Dale go from strangers to friends to crushes to boyfriends. It was such a lovely journey seeing how they grew and gained confidence in themselves as the story progressed. The bullying storyline is on page and can definitely be a trigger for some people. However it was well done and sadly very realistic.
Ellis is a character that I can relate to in some ways. The high school kid that was kind of just there and not many noticed beyond being bullied that no one saw. He went through such a rollercoaster of emotions between being scared of the escalating bully, hope for friendship and then more with Dale, and that overwhelming sense of just wanting to make it through so you can achieve the goals you set forth. He made my heart hurt and soar in equal measures. I loved how supportive his family was. They were such fun characters to read and see how Ellis interacted with them.
Dale was wonderful. His journey to come out was rough and I loved that he at least knew who he was right from the beginning. The way he cared for Ellis was so sweet. He wanted Ellis happy and healthy and that was pretty much as far as his expectations went. His dad was wonderfully supportive and I liked the relationship they had.
I desperately want more from these two. I want to see them many years in the future to see if they can make it through college together. I also would like to see some of the other characters get their own stories. I want Mr. Shea and Seth to get their own stories. I also want Mark to have redemption and to have his own story.
Four and a half
C.M. Lievens is a penname Catherine Lievens uses when she writes stories with little to no sex, and more specifically, Young Adult ones.
She lives in Italy with her husband, three cats, and her son, who luckily isn’t going to be a young adult for many years to come, because Catherine is not prepared for that just yet. She loves to write about different people and situations, hence the need for a penname.
When she’s not putting pen to paper to plot her next story, writing while avoiding her kid’s questions (he’s way too curious for his own good), or talking to her cats, she can be found hiding in the bathroom, because that’s the only place where she can read in peace.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CM-Lievens-1659898224299254/
For the entire month of June, all comments will be one entry into a paperback giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of both Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna and Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet. Contest is open to everyone, each comment is one entry, contest ends June 30 11:59PM. Winner must provide their mailing address within one week of contest close or a new winner will be selected.