Book Reviews

Waiting for Walker by Robin Reardon at IAM Books

Genre Gay / Intersex / Contemporary / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 29-June-2017

Book Blurb

Micah Jaeger's life is a mess. His folks have split, and his mother is seeing a medium to communicate with Micah's older brother, killed in Afghanistan. He had to change schools for his junior year, which made him retreat further into himself, hiding behind his camera—and hiding that he's gay.

One sunny day in June, as he's shooting a dead seagull on the shore of Long Island Sound, a mysterious guy appears in a beautiful sailboat. At first, the guy's boat shoes are the image that stays with Micah. But soon it's the person himself, Walker Donnell, who haunts Micah's dreams.

Walker's life looks perfect to Micah. His wealthy parents adore him. He has everything he could want. He's gorgeous and generous. And he falls hard for Micah. But he has a secret: Walker is intersex.

The closer Walker and Micah grow, the more Walker feels the need to be sure of himself in ways he hasn't fully faced before, and now it's his turn to retreat. Micah knows Walker is worth waiting for, so he waits. And waits.

Book Review

“Love isn’t a choice. You fall for the person, not their chromosomes.” ~ I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above)

Sixteen is a difficult age for any teenager, but for Micah Jeager of 'Waiting for Walker', it is fraught with even more problems than the usual getting-to-know-yourself phase. Micah lives in a dumpy motel that his mom manages. Micah's father lives nearby and still sees him regularly. After his brother died in Afghanistan, the grief of it tore his family apart and his mother started drinking. Consequently, his parents got a divorce. Micah is trying to balance his grief about his dead brother, his parents' divorce, the hurt and disappointment of his father not being there, and, oh yes, the fact that he is gay. For fear of driving his parents even further away than they already are, he's afraid to tell them.

Micah has a lot to handle in dealing with his parents. His father is concerned about his mother's drinking and odd behavior and its effect on Micah. Apparently, she's seeing a psychic, who is helping her connect with Dylan, her deceased son. Needless to say, Micah and his dad are suspicious, afraid Madam Alberta is just milking her for money. It makes Micah's life even less certain than it already is because he has to judge his behavior on how much she has had to drink. He also has to endure his mom's behavior after her visits to the psychic, such as getting out the chest with his brother's personal effects every time and crying over it. Micah resents it because it's like she is the only one who can be sad about Dylan.

One thing Micah enjoys tremendously is photography and he's quite good at it. His subject matter is out of the ordinary sometimes, like the dead sea gull he is photographing by the ocean, when he's startled out of his concentration by another boy (Walker) he's not seen before. Micah is in no mood to be bothered so he's rude to the young man who, judging by his clothes and sailboat, comes from money. Irritated, Micah walks away from him as soon as he can. The next time he sees Blondie, as Micah calls him, Walker invites him to meet at a local cafe. Not knowing what Walker wants, but curious, Micah agrees. They get to know each other over lunch and find that they click. Their friendship quickly becomes physical, although Walker isn't even sure he is gay, but before they go too far, Walker tells Micah that he's never gone to public school, or camp because he has a secret. Walker is intersex. Micah admits he knows little about the subject so he thoroughly researches it so he can be more understanding. It doesn't matter to their relationship. However, it does matter to Walker's mother. When she discovers the true nature of their relationship, she forbids Micah to see Walker again.

This is a deep book, with a lot of heavy issues from intersex to alcoholism, with a few other unexpected surprises. It's not particularly a comfortable book to read, but it often takes discomfort for change to occur. Robin does a great job of discussing the issues surrounding Walker and his status as intersex without getting too technical. It's obviously a complex subject that needs more explanation than Robin could or would want to put in one story. I appreciated her introduction along with the references she added. Another reason the book appealed to me is that the boys sounded like sixteen-year-olds. I've read other YA stories where the characters are supposed to be teenagers and sound either like they are too old or too young for their roles. I found Robin's characters quite refreshing in that regard. Thanks, Robin, for introducing me to Walker and Micah and for making me more aware of intersex people and their unique issues in society.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 431 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-June-2017
Price $4.10 ebook, $13.99 paperback
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