I love books from all genres, but right now I'm on a mystery, contemporary, and YA kick. I have two cats, Monkey and Peepers.
Kai Manter is a young, talented musician that’s proudly out, very sexually active, and finds himself uncharacteristically attracted to a shy, aloof waiter at the café where he performs. That shy waiter, who is prone at times to demonstrate a wicked temper, is Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. There are very serious reasons for Jamie’s temperament and it won’t be easy to break down Jamie’s walls and allow Kai in, but with the help of his friends and his own determination, Kai sets out to prove to Jaime that he’s serious about him and their love.
Sigh, so I don’t really know how to review or rate this, partially because I think many people will like this much more than I did, and that I may just be a bit burnt out on YA or too distanced from teenagers these days. I can’t even honestly say if teenagers actually think, act and speak like this, but it felt not quite there. And that just might be because it didn’t speak to ME or it actually could be the author’s style.
I will say that the writing style almost had a frenetic pace, that didn’t fit the plot points well in my opinion. I kept imagining the guy who did the Micro Machine commercials, John Moschitta Jr., speaking to me throughout my reading. This is a story of serious topics, from incest, abuse, even stalking, and yet the WAY it was all handled left me with a distaste in my mouth. And I don’t feel like I can articulate why. Part of me thinks it wasn’t given the soberness these issues deserved and the levity with which it was handled at times upset me. That’s not to say that the characters didn’t discuss things with their friends, with adults and with each other. That’s not to say that the characters didn’t reflect on the issues or think these things weren’t as bad as they were, but something in the overall tone felt off. Just way off. I wanted it to slow down. Let the moments breathe, let the reader AND Jaime process. Too many events, too many detailed days, too much dialogue and I never felt I could appreciate each serious moment on its own.
I liked that Kai tried to relate to Jaime through music, and even more importantly with specific playlists. I related to that because I enjoy book playlists, or think of songs that trigger memories for me. Those parts were great, but the rest of this book didn’t work for me. I couldn’t relate or really even like any of the characters unfortunately. It was all a bit oddly frivolous and sappy.
BUT, again, this might all just be me. I do think many of my friends that generally like young adult and super sweet books will like this, but anyone that is even slightly against melodrama, young adult books, or lots of sentences with (other parts of sentence in parentheses); you might want to pass.