I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.
Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.
Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.
This is definitely one of my favorite covers of the year. I loved the cover model, and the way the script is written.
When I read the blurb I was all like yes this is for me!!! Then I started reading it and it’s YA. At first, I got mad or a little perturbed because YA isn’t my genre of choice, but since I have it I was going to read it. I’m super happy that I did read it. I enjoyed it. I loved the way the author gave us the authenticity of the time, the people, the events in the world and the clothes. I literally googled so many things. Hell I was born in June of 1987. So everything they were listening to was something I wasn’t familiar with. I’d like to say that the story was about two boys from different sides of the tracks who fell in love. It’s a little more then that. It’s Aids unfolding in their eyes and the worlds. Seeing Nate trying to get answers about Aids, or just reading about it at this time in the world was eye opening. Gay Men didn’t have any resources to find out about anything in Warren, Wyoming.
As far as the characters were written I think Cody & Nate were really well written characters. I loved Cody so much. He was so resilient about the things that were thrown at him. I hated how the freaking town treated him. It’s one thing to be poor, and yeah everyone gets social class and high school status. I understand that, but Cody didn’t do anything to anyone. He is content to be by himself in his last year of high school. In walks Nate with his mustang car, Texas drawl, upturn collar on his polo shirts and bright blonde hair. Nate stormed into his life, and made Cody want. He made Cody want things that he wasn’t sure he deserved or even if he could want it. I liked Nate as well. Nate wanted everyone to be, sure he was acclimating to a new town after having to move from Austin, Texas. Nate not being use to the small town, no MTV, small high school and complete boredom. I liked how their friendship came to be. They were trying to make due with what they had in the world.
No matter what year it is, it still is High School. I can say I never had bullying or outcast issues in high school. Every cliche thing you can find in high school it was here. I mean in a small town, how the hell is it still this many cliques? Well amongst all the douchebags there was Logan Robertson. He might be one of the best friends ever. The straight jock, most popular in high school and the town decided to befriend the outcast. I love Logan, and he is such a good thing to Cody’s spirit.
Both boys had to come to terms with their sexuality in different ways. I couldn’t wrap my mind around them having no one to talk to, and no one to relate to. It pulled at my heart strings to see them so alone with this subject. It was basically forced to come out after some bad things happened. Seeing both parent’s reaction to their son’s sexuality was so emotional. Cody’s mom hasn’t had the perfect life. She’s barely scraping by and has to do unsavory things, but the one thing she does is accept her son. I cried, and then Nate’s father put the icing on the cake. I think I respected him so much more when his first priority was to make sure his son was okay.
All in all, I think this was a such a good story. I liked the ending alot. I’m a little uncertain since I would say it’s a HFN. I would have liked to know what happens after Iowa. Or maybe Marie wanted us to be content with their finding their happiness.