"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde
A good debut for a new M/M writer.
I stumbled over this one, and was intrigued. Derek, a young man who could've had everything he wanted, leaves his life and love in New York behind and goes home. Means back to the South, his mother and curious Uncle, a bunch of true friends and most importantly, getting away from his fiancé. And he loves it, all of it. The food, the language, the nights out with his friend and his new job as a teacher. The only blib on his negativity-radar? His old high school crush and former tormentor.
I enjoyed reading this debut of Jordan Nasser. I liked the groundwork Nasser layed out, and I warmed up to Derek after a little while. He isn't bad, he's just not the easiest character to like. He has his issues, one of them running away every time it get's too hard to try. Which is not one of the most admirable personality traits in my book. On the other hand, Derek is sweet and caring, if a little self-absorbed. What made me really like the story though, were the side characters. Granted, some of them might come over as clichéd a time or two. But in the grand scheme of things, it was an adorable, wildly mixed bunch. They made me laugh and chuckle a lot.
It would have been nice to get to know a little more about Derek's motivations. Why all the running? Why the need to go back to "safety" when you already know it's a bad idea? But maybe stuff like that could be part of a second part in the series? *wink-wink-nudge-nudge*
Why "only" 3.5 stars? I liked the story, just had some issues here and there with Derek. But mostly, I was not really satisfied with the ending. It didn't feel right to have Derek "switch" sides like it was nothing. You don't want me anymore? Fine, I'll go back to my ex - and vice versa. In a heartbeat. Alright, not really in a heartbeat - he took his time and it was written in a somewhat believable manner. I just didn't like it.
The other thing? Tenses! I'm not that nit-picky when it comes to grammar or vocabulary - I'm not a native speaker mayself. But here, I was irritated every so often because the tenses were all over the place. Past, present, perfect - you name it, you got it and not always in the correct way. So yes, I was a little distracted by that.
All in all, a really good debut novel that I enjoyed quite a bit. Looking forward to the second installment in the series and other works by this author.