Book Reviews

Run for It All by Carolyn LeVine Topol at Harmony Ink Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Students/Teachers/Professors / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 23-September-2016

Book Blurb

When both his moms take an offer for a year of employment in Europe, fifteen-year-old David Martin has no choice but to head to Connecticut to stay with his dad and his dad’s partner. Not only is he leaving behind the life he loves in New York City, he’s unsure how he feels about staying with a father he barely knows, one who has been far from supportive during David’s life.

If he doesn’t have enough on his plate, David is also confused and wrestling with his burgeoning sexual feelings… toward other boys. Running with his dad’s partner takes the edge off, but training with the hot—and openly gay—track team captain, Kevin Ringer, produces a different kind of rush.

An assault on David and Kevin in the locker room gives David a new perspective on his own identity, his feelings for Kevin, and his relationship with his dad. Life is very different from what David is used to, but he’s determined to carve out a place for himself.

Book Review

Growing up is not easy at the best of times, and the main character of this book, David, faces a few extra hurdles. He has to move to a new place and go to a new school because his mothers have a great assignment abroad and don’t want to drag him with them. David will suddenly live with his biological father, a man he likes well enough but has only seen for the occasional family event so far. Not to mention that David is gay and has not yet told anyone. The resulting story is full of teenage angst and a few initial tantrums, new discoveries David makes about himself and what he wants out of life, and a new and different relationship with not just his father, but his father’s future husband as well.

David is a typical teenager. There are things he takes in stride and is very grown up about, like the fact that he doesn’t want to stand in his mothers’ way when their chance for a great career move comes. But there are things he is not so okay with and gets pretty bratty about, like his father’s initial hesitance to become a fully present parent. But David isn’t stupid, and he is excellent at taking a step back and thinking about things once they have happened. It’s all a learning process, and David learns a lot about assuming responsibility for his actions.

As David begins to get to know some of the people in his school and makes new friends, and as he finds out that he likes Kevin, the captain of the track team David joins, he begins to build his social circle from scratch and surprises himself with how well that goes. Coming out to his father is not an issue, but some of the guys David and Kevin meet during inter-high school competitions are far less understanding. While nothing outright brutal happens, the encounter they have with a few bigoted bullies is enough to shake up David and Kevin – if in somewhat different ways. The relationship with Kevin progresses slowly, but I thought it was just the right pace, considering it is David’s first time dating someone.

If you like young adult romances that focus on the inner growth of the main character, if you want to see a slightly lost teenager grow into a self-confident young man who knows what direction he wants his life to take, and if you’re looking for a young adult read that is realistic as well as encouraging, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Harmony Ink Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/67164 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-September-2016
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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