Title ~ Go Your Own Way (Part One)
Author ~ Zane Riley
Publisher ~ Interlude Press
Published ~ 5th May 2015
Genre ~ New Adult M/M Romance
Will Osborne couldn’t wait to put the roller coaster ride of his public education behind him. Having suffered bullying and harassment since grade school, he planned a senior year that would be simple and quiet before going away to college and starting fresh. But when a reform school transfer student struts into his first class, Will realizes that the thrill ride has only just begun.
Lennox McAvoy is an avalanche. He's crude, flirtatious, and the most insufferable, beautiful person Will's ever met. From his ankle monitor to his dull smile, Lennox appears irredeemable. But when Will’s father falls seriously ill, Will discovers that there is more to Lennox than meets the eye.
I just love it when I read a book from a debut author and it’s really something to get excited about… and this is one of those books! Zane Riley effortlessly captured my heart with his characters and …the writing… it’s stunning. But not in a lyrical, flowery way. The words just flowed so smoothly over the page, enticing me in, so much so, that reading this felt like time just stopped; with heart-breaking moments of poignancy that just made me pause for thought. I was completely absorbed in the story of these two boys… and this isn’t a short book at 326 pages, but my kindle didn’t leave my hands for a minute.
This is a very character driven novel and a love story that sees two boys floundering, not only in the initial tentative steps of romance and the overwhelming feelings of first love… but also, for Will, and especially Lennox, life is far more complicated than that. As a mother with a teenage boy the same age, Lennox just broke my heart. The author does an incredible job of evoking such depth of emotion and intensity in this book, as well as getting right all the other insecurities and the generalities of ‘I hate my life’ that comes with being a teenager.
Will and Lennox are complete opposites, you’d never put them together in a million years and as their story unfolds we see their love grow, moving from flirtatious banter, mixed in with some crass undertones to something so tender and passionate… it was beautiful… but at the same time tragic, as we learn why it’s not easy for either them to confront what’s in their hearts.
For Will with no sexual experiences, he dreams of that ‘perfect love’ the ‘happily ever after’. Will wants forever …not a quick fuck or a blow job. Lennox is emotionally stilted, a teenager who has spent three years substituting sex for affection… and the boy is obsessed with blow jobs!
But as we slowly learn of Lennox’s sad past and all the shite that life has thrown at him, you begin to understand and see the complexities of this lost boy, whose bravado, smart mouth and antagonistic nature are all a defence against a life/world that has so far failed him. He has been abandoned to his own devices and unlike Will, Lennox has no hopes and dreams… they are for other people. His future is just a void. No family that care for him, no friends and no home. Deep down he’s just a kid playing up for attention, any attention, yet no one can see his cries for help. They just see a black gay kid, with an ankle monitor and a bad attitude, who plays to the crowd to be judged as such. And initially Wills judgemental tone, which he uses to deflect his own uneasiness around the persistent little fucker; with a blatant disregard and wilful attitude when it came to invading Wills personal space… hurt more than anything else.
However Will is a kind gentle soul, as well as an innocent, but he has such strength of character and it doesn’t take long for him to see past the vulgarities and the sexual innuendos, as they each try to gain the advantage and best each other in their game of banter. But when all that is stripped bare and Lennox allows him in, just to have some familiarity and closeness to another human being, the emotion between them is raw and Wills understanding of that was something quite profound.
There is a lot of pain and angst in this book, but it’s also interspersed with humour that can only come from teenagers and high school antics. There is erotic content, let’s be realistic here, they’re eighteen, boys and have raging hormones… however, I have to commend the author for not sexualising it. It was still sex, but a much more sensual and intimate experience, with some fumbling's of inexperience on Wills part… it was actually very moving because of the emotional connection between the boys and how the author conveyed the gradual affection and love between them.
As I mentioned earlier… time stood still whilst reading this, and going into this book, I was under the impression it was a stand alone, so you can imagine my dismay when I find myself perilously close to the end and there are still things, in my mind that needed to be resolved, and at the 100% mark I was left underwhelmed with a HFN, I felt cheated, without closure… I wanted more! I was ready to fling my kindle at the wall… the-air-was-blue! So, after I calmed down and thought that can’t possibly be it… I checked Amazon, Goodreads and the publishers website, I couldn’t find anything to tell me it was the first book in a series… upon further investigation in an old blog post I discovered that;
‘…the GYOW saga has been expanded into two novels to be published in 2015 and 2016.’
Further clarification from the author, left me with… Phew… thank god there’s another book! Followed by… Arghhh… I have to wait till 2016 for the next book! But, let me tell you, if it’s as good as this one… it will be well worth the wait.