Book Reviews

Finding Our Way by Jayson James

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Jamie Deacon on 16-March-2013

Book Blurb

Justin Parker and Derrick Wilson have been best friends since meeting back in middle school. Currently they are in their junior year at Chandler High School, and living the good life as teenagers. They have great girlfriends, plenty of close friends, their own cars, and parents who are well off. As nice as things might look to an outsider, something is missing from each of their lives.

Justin has become the invisible son in the midst of his parents failing marriage. In an effort to get his parent’s attention, Justin keeps getting into trouble. So far he has been able to get away with anything without facing any repercussions, while Derrick is feeling distant and tired of what he feels is a too “perfect family”. He just wants to have a normal social life and spend time with his friends without the pressures from his family to spend time with them. With blurring the lines of friendship in the process to realizing what was missing and discovering who they really are.

Justin and Derrick take turns narrating the story of their junior year in high school and all of the events that take place in their lives. Being a teenager can be tough. Being gay can be tougher. For Derrick and Justin they are both, and life cannot get any more complicated.

What happens when two best friends cross the boundaries of friendship? Will they be able to be happy together? Will they keep their secret?

Book Review

The journey from friends to lovers can be challenging, but when you’re young and struggling to come to terms with your sexuality, it’s a whole lot tougher. There will be some, even among those you trust, who resent seeing you together. Sometimes, however, support arrives from an entirely unexpected quarter. This is certainly true in this sweet debut novel by Jayson James, which has the heroes sharing the narrative as they recount the many ups and downs of their junior year of high school.

Justin and Derek have been inseparable since middle school. Now seventeen, they are blessed with a great group of friends, gorgeous girlfriends, and the freedom afforded by having their own cars. On the surface, it seems they couldn’t have it better. In fact, things at home are far from ideal. Justin’s parents are on the brink of divorce, driving him to ever wilder behavior in an attempt to gain their attention, while Derek finds his own perfect family stifling. Moreover, both are aware of something missing from their lives, something neither dares put a name to.

One kiss during a drunken game of Truth or Dare changes everything. From that moment on, the attraction that has always been there, simmering beneath the surface of their friendship, can no longer be ignored. Tentatively, they begin to explore their burgeoning feelings, delighting in each new discovery, all the while concealing their romance from their friends and family. But a secret this big is impossible to keep hidden for long. Soon Justin and Derek will have to come out to the people who matter, and they can only hope their love is strong enough to survive the fallout.

This is a heart-warming novel about growing up, falling in love, and seeking acceptance. Although it has to be said that there are some grammatical errors, I was mostly able to look past these and lose myself in the story. Justin and Derek are so close on every level that it was a pleasure to follow their relationship as it unfolds. By the end, I’d grown incredibly fond of both boys, and I’m intrigued to learn where events will take them in the sequel.

If you have a soft spot for friends to lovers romances that combine genuine tenderness with plenty of emotional drama, you may well want to give this book a go.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 282 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-September-2012
Price $2.99 ebook, $10.99 paperback
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