I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
You can also find me on my main blog.
There's no way I can write an adequate review for this book. Apologies, dear authors, but you have slayed me with this.
But I'll try. I'll try to tell you why you should run, as fast as Kaz runs inside the pages of this book, to get yourself a copy as soon as you possibly can. I'll try to tell you why I cried all the tears, why my heart is broken yet repaired, and why you should read this book.
Because there is a young man inside who needs you to listen to his story, even though he doesn't have the words to tell it to you himself. Because words. They can change your life in a moment, and Kaz only knows that too well.
Kaz can run. He can run fast, and he's told to run and not look back, to run and run and run toward the headlights because if he stops, they might catch him and kill him. Because they know. They know he's different, they know he's not like the others, and they hate him for it. They might not stop at killing just him, they might kill his family too. His parents. His sister.
So Kaz runs. He's been running from his war-torn, homophobic country, he's been running from his would-be killers, from the life he knew, where he had friends and university and Coach and family. Even now, in the UK in a refugee house, he's still running because the horrors he's seen along the way are haunting him.
He's alone, so alone. He's drowning in regrets, in guilt, in grief, in shame, and then he drowns the pain with cheap cider. And stuff - a broken stroller, beads, pool noodles, coats, single shoes - all the stuff he needed while he was running from the only home he ever knew, but didn't have, which would have helped him and helped to save the ones he couldn't save.
He puts on a happy face, smiles and says all the right things that people expect to hear. Outwardly, he's fine, adjusting to his new life, doing what he's told. Always a "please" and a "thank you", and "it's an awesome day" on his lips.
But inside, there's guilt. Grief. Shame. Terror. And pain, so much overwhelming pain.
But there's Tork, too. Tork who shines so brightly in this book, who's so supportive, who sees what Kaz cannot put into words. There's Adam too, who's still a bit of a dick, but who loves Tork.
And there's Zack, who doesn't think much of himself because he's overweight and likes to eat, but who also sees Kaz. Sees him, patiently offers his shoulder and his ear and his heart on his sleeve to the boy who's running from everything. Zack, whose soft body and sweet cakes get Kaz to slow down and then stop running. Get him to open up, to allow the words Kaz has held inside for so long to bubble out. Zack who stops the rooftops from spinning, Zack who rights the tilt of Kaz' world.
As much as Kaz needs Zack, so does Zack need Kaz. They find each other, and they're never letting go.
I cannot imagine the horrors Kaz has seen on his journey, nor would I want to. Innocent lives lost. Desperation that sends you into the waves again and again to try to save the child that slipped from your arms as you crossed a sea in a rickety overloaded boat. Running as fast as you can just to have a chance to live. And then not knowing how to stop running, because what you've seen will haunt you for the rest of your life.
So, this is my review. It isn't good enough, not even close, but I don't have better words. I will beg you though to get this book and read it. Maybe read it a few times. There aren't many I'd take with me to a deserted island, out of all the many books I've read, but this is surely one of them.
** I received a free copy of this book from its authors. A positive review was not promise in return. **