I read this twice, if only to see if I felt the same way about it the 2nd time around.
This was a well-written story that tackled some heavy issues, most specifically with Simon and the abuse he suffers at the hands of his father, and the aftermath once he gets away from the man. The story flowed easily and naturally in its progression, and I wasn't bored with it at any time.
However, I felt on occasion that the author laid it on too thick, and that some of the characters were simply too perfect to be real. While this had an overall hopeful tone, and while it's certainly possible that two young men at 17 find their forever with each other, I also felt that there almost wasn't enough struggle for Simon, that the many years of abuse, verbal and physical, were too easily handled, that he got better too quickly.
Writing a realistic portrayal of an abused character can be very tricky, I'm sure. And I'm certainly not saying that I wanted to see more of the abuse itself (what we get to see is plenty and made me sick to my stomach), but I felt that the aftermath was almost too easy.
In addition to that I felt mostly squicked out by the many sex scenes between the two MCs. Yes, I'm sure young men have sex, most teenagers do, but I also don't want to read it in such detail and quantity.
Perhaps I'm simply not the right audience for this book. I liked the characters, and I wanted Simon and Jimmy to succeed. I liked Jimmy's perfect family, and I liked their friends who stand by them through it all.
I even liked the cheesy epilogue.
Overall, despite its heavy themes, the book is sweet. Just a little too sweet for my taste.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **