Book Reviews

Surviving Elite High: Senior Year (Surviving Elite High 2) by John H. Ames at Ai Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 04-September-2016

Book Blurb

And you thought last year was full of drama, suspense and romance? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

After a summer of love, hard work and…ahem…cohabitation, Nick and John are beginning their senior year. However, putting the memory of last year’s turbulent events at Elite High behind them proves harder than ever. Mysterious notes begin to appear inside John’s locker. Something is definitely wrong since the writer of the notes is none other than Matthew Ward, the homicidal student who nearly killed John. Is Matthew now free to finish what he started?

As if that weren’t bad enough, a new girl at school has an obsession with Nick that makes her do terrible things, things that threaten to tear Nick and John apart at every turn. Will Nick and John ever find happiness and stability together? Or will they end up going their separate ways?

All of these questions and more will be answered in part two of the Surviving Elite High saga!

Publisher’s note and advisory: Part one of the Surviving Elite High saga is available from Budding Moon Press. This novel contains a graphic rape scene (not between the romantic couple).

Book Review

The vibrant sequel to the stunning YA gay fiction novel, Surviving Elite High, should bring a great deal of joy to fans of the first book. Relayed through the eyes of lead character John Ames, the story conveys all of the exuberant emotion of a teenager who finds love. The zenith highs and joys of loving someone who loves you back, the excitement of discovering more about each other, and the flip-a-switch bitterness and angst experienced when that love is threatened or betrayed.

This is a plucky effort by the author; I give high marks to him for allowing the character of John to express the depth of his love with an outspoken passion generally reserved for the fairer sex, and yet still… John comes off as a brave, young male. The story opens with John expecting his two gal pals Madison and Kitty to come back after a summer away; soon senior year will be starting and he can’t wait to swap “summer” stories with them. While John and Nick have spent their summer hard at work, as they now live together and have to support themselves, John is pretty ecstatic; he and his lover have spent the time getting closer… in every sense of the word. The two young men have built on their friendship and their relationship has developed into one of deep love and trust.

The first threat to that trust comes in the form of Emily, an old childhood friend of Nick’s. She’s just moved to town and will attend their school. While John feels the threat to their relationship immediately, Nick simply sees an old friend, leaving John little recourse but to reveal his suspicions that the new girl is out to get his man, to his friends. Within the supportive embrace of his friends, John’s uneasy suspicions become a collective all out hate-fest for Emily and I have to give a high five to the author for his ability to convey genuine teen group emotion and venting. As harsh as some of John and his friends vents were, they rang true as the only emotion that exists for a teen… is the one he or she is experiencing in the moment. The girls have his back, but John’s bitterness transforms to fear when notes from Matthew, his nemesis from the first book, start popping up in his locker.

I won’t reveal anything else, as I don’t want to spoil this colorful, invigorating story for anyone. But the tension and suspense build as the boys go through a number of devastating adventures before the story ends. A fairly quick read, filled with the rambunctiousness of youth, I liked this teen-in-love meets thriller-chiller story and am looking forward to the next novel by this ambitious new author. Thank you, John H. Ames, for this wild ride on the teen inside. In two words, “I’m stoked!”




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 52236 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-February-2013
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link