Sometimes, I go into a book knowing pretty much what is going to happen but just curious about how the whole thing plays out. This book, on the other hand, was one of those “everyone says it’s great, so I’m going to read it even though I don’t remember what the reviewer about it back when I decided to order it” kind of books. I put myself on the waiting list and then, when it showed up, I started reading without so much as a glance at the summary.
I usually like going into a book completely blind because I can enjoy the story better if my experience is not tainted by another person’s opinion. When I first started reading this book, I thought the story was going to be a healthy serving of “coming-of-age in a small town” with a side order of “gay older brother.” Boy was I wrong! When the tragic twist happened somewhere near the middle of the book, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I immediately flipped to the back of the book and then looked inside the front cover to see if there had been any kind of indication or warning about it in the summary. Yup… I guess there was. Part of me is glad that I wasn’t able to steel myself against the shock, so I could react more naturally to the story, but part of me wishes I had known something was going to happen so I didn’t have to fight so hard not to cry while I was reading in the middle of the pediatrician’s waiting room before my son’s check up! I refuse to give anything away, but I will say this much — read this book somewhere you can feel free to let the tears flow and be sure to have a hanky or a tissue handy.