Life in Fusion (Summit City #2)

Title: Life in Fusion (Summit City #2)
Author: Ethan Day
Buy Link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (90k, 316 PDF pages)
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5, DIK

Summary Review: Ethan Day exceeded all of my expectations with this sequel to Sno Ho. Life in Fusion rocks on all levels. A  delightful love story and huge slice of life.

THE BLURB

Sequel to Sno Ho

Aspiring author, Boone Daniels, always figured love would be as easy as he was. Fresh off the whirlwind winter-vacation romance with ski-god and would-be boyfriend, Wade Walker — Boone was certain that saying goodbye would be the hardest part.

He’d survived the unconventional way in which they came together, proven himself somewhat worthy to Wade’s hometown of Summit City, and felt certain the self-imposed, six month boy-buffer would prove one thing – their fate was to be forever entwined.

Once real life settles in, Boone suffers the realization that no one ever actually said love was easy and that even after you fall, you can still break. As their two worlds collide, he begins to understand that if he can navigate the landscape of life in fusion, he just might get that happily-ever-after — after all.

THE REVIEW

I was prepared to be disappointed by Life in Fusion because rarely does a sequel equal the initial story. Life in Fusion is that exceptional book that makes the original, wonderful as it is, seem like a springboard to something that’s so much better it eclipsed it. Sno Ho reviewed here was a fun book about Boone Daniels meeting and falling for hot Wade Walker, a former Olympian, after he had been cruelly dumped long distance by the man he had been dating for a year. Boone had spent one week with Wade, a hero and demi god in the small town of Summit City, Colorado, who  made it clear that he was in love with Boone and wanted them to spend the rest of their lives together. When it was time to say goodbye temporarily Boone was still not sure about his feelings for Wade and worse, he was having panic attacks about moving in 6 months  to Summit City from Albuquerque, New Mexico where he had lived all his life and had his entire support network of friends and family, including a job. Was love enough and what could anyone really know about someone else in one week?

Life in Fusion opens immediately after Boone said goodbye to Wade in Sno Ho. Of course there is drama on the way to the airport as he’s kidnapped by the Quad, 4 women from Summit City who wanted to know his intentions towards Wade and his reason for leaving, but the meeting very quickly became a free-for-all between the women and a fight for supremacy. This little vignette is but a slice of all the madness that permeates LiF. Add to that Boone’s sci fi book that he lets us read along as he’s writing it, and I felt that I was in another dimension. 🙂

If I were to summarize Life in Fusion I would say that it’s Boone’s journey into adulthood over the course of several months. All the characters who touched his life and helped him find out who Boone really was were incidental to that journey, but he had to travel part of the road alone. The train wrecks that happened, while they were hilarious, at times were poignant and moving. The best parts of this book are the characters and if some of them were larger than life that’s because Ethan Day doesn’t appear to believe that his characters should be ordinary, therefore he imbues them with personalities that I have never seen in other books. Purists or critics may feel that the author invites disaster with so many unusual people in his books, but somehow here he created a world and a wonderful slice of life in LiF that will keep you entranced and amazed, and you will wonder how he managed to pull off such an incredible feat of keeping the characters grounded. Not every M/M reader is going to love Life in Fusion, as they may not see beyond the crazy characters that seem to live within the author’s imagination, but the fact remains that he is creative and a wonderful writer whose style can’t be duplicated because any other writer who tried to write a story like this would end up with an unholy, horrible mess. At times he teetered on the balance beam but he caught himself just before he crashed.

The book is told from Boone’s first person POV and his emotions were on overload the entire time as he battled his fears about screwing up again as he had always done, this time in front of an entire town. Ethan Day’s writing in Life in Fusion is brilliant and the story  can be summed up as a soap opera wrapped up in vibrant three dimensional, colourful characters, most of whom you will never find anywhere else because they are unique. Many times I wanted to smack Boone much as I loved the character, because he was so vain, inconsistent, and drove everyone crazy, yet I understood the insecurities that drove his erratic behaviour. He loved Wade and was afraid that he would never come up to his expectations. He was fragile and  felt that he was undeserving of happiness, and he knew that if he moved to Summit City he would have to compete with the residents there for Wade’s love since Wade was the heartbeat and raison d’etre of the town and he would always have to share him. Could he be selfless for once in his life? Could he believe in their love? He and Wade had known each other only a week and with his track record with men it was quite likely that no matter how much he wanted the relationship he would sabotage it, because he didn’t want to put himself to the ultimate test of loving someone else unconditionally. Also, could he reconcile himself to not being number 1 and the focus of everyone’s attention all the time?

Wade, on the other hand, seemed quite sure of his feelings and he was in a hurry to tie the knot with Boone, but was it love or just a desire to be part of a couple? At times Wade was overshadowed by Boone but when he was put to the test he proved that he really loved the man but was not going into the relationship wearing rose coloured glasses. As for the sex, what can I say but that it was as incredible as in Sno Ho but in LiF there are tender moments that are unbelievably poignant and emotional that show how much they loved each other.

The other characters in the book were just as well drawn – from Boone’s crazy and “out there” mother Dixie, the former Miss Texas, and his father Rocky who didn’t believe anything was sacred, not even their son’s sex life, and they wanted to show Boone how much they supported his lifestyle as a gay man by telling him about their sex life, much to his chagrin. However he was clearly much loved by his parents and the feeling was returned even though they embarrassed him no end with their antics, their home, their dress and just about everything they did. But I loved the way they still acted like teenagers in love.

The one liners were endless and so funny that I laughed out loud so much my sides hurt. I will not give you any examples of the prose or the dialogue or the crazy situations that were key to the story because that would be doing you a disservice. This is a story that you have to experience with no filter because Ethan Day has no filter. If there wasn’t so much more to this book, which at times could have been a train wreck, I would have written off  Life in Fusion as just another funny novel. However the story was  about complex human emotions and more than just a bunch of funny quips, although there were tons of those. 🙂

Life in Fusion is really about a man’s journey from being irresponsible and selfish to a caring individual whose love for Wade, his family and friends and even Wade’s family, helped him to become someone of whom he could be proud. Having said that, this is one of the zaniest books I have read in a long long time, maybe the craziest, and every character was so complicated that I wondered how Ethan Day could write a book with so many people “on the edge” yet not create caricatures. The characters were wonderfully drawn, some of them so sensitively portrayed, like Boone’s parents, I wondered if they were patterned after people the author knew in RL. Jackie, Wade’s sister who was the opposite of her brother, was another person that I thought was well done as she shared some of her insecurities about being overshadowed by her popular brother, their lives growing up without a mother but being supported and helped by a loving community.  Another very important character to Boone was his best friend Gabe from childhood who hurt him terribly by not accepting his relationship with Wade, mainly because he was moving far away, but in the end he realized that this was a journey Boone had to take to be true to himself.

Life in Fusion was a tough book to review because there is the temptation to try and make other readers understand why the book moved me so much. It was very funny and there’s no escaping Boone’s antics that made me want to kick him where it would hurt, but he was so vulnerable and fragile at the same time as he was annoying and vain that it was difficult not to love him, and most of all his character growth since Sno Ho was unbelievable. Obviously this is just one person’s opinion and many of you may disagree, but it’s how I feel about LiF. I hope to meet Boone and Wade again after they have been together awhile to see how things are working out. This is an unforgettable couple and story.

Highly recommended.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

107 comments

  • Late to the party here, but I finally read both “Sno Ho” and “Life In Fusion” back to back. As I had never read Sno Ho I didn’t have to throw a hissy fit at the “open” end of it (as I probably would have without a sequel on hand), I merely picked up LIF and kept reading 😉 Holy smokes, no wonder everyone is singing Ethan’s praises -the characters in these stories are so crazy good! I’ll second Wave in saying, the way Ethan wove the complex emotions of this story together with humor is amazing -like nothing I’ve read before. Did someone say 1200 pages for the next Boone and Wade story – sounds good to me 🙂

    Oh, two things. I will never again eat a muffin of any kind without smirking, and……..if Boone really wants to know what ever happened to Hanson, put him in touch with me, I know the scoop. 😉

    Reply
    • Dianne
      How wonderful that you got back to let Ethan know how much you love both books. Now you understand why I was using hyperbole when I wrote the review. The man is talented – no doubt about it. Although I’m still mad at him for making us wait another 18 months for the next story about Boone and Wade. If the book is 1200 pages he will have to give it to me 3 months before the review is due not 3 days like he did with LiF.

      I’ll pass your message on to Boone’s creator. lol

      Reply
      • “I’ll pass your message on to Boone’s creator. lol”

        Uh oh, should I get ready…..;-) He kept me up until well into the night reading (again) last night. Damn these authors – I can’t figure out if I can’t sleep because I can’t leave the stories or it’s just a good thing the stories are there when I can’t sleep!
        I need to check out his other books. I admit I was an Ethan virgin until “Sno Ho” (and reading that didn’t even require an Irish coffee!), although I have enjoyed reading his comments and interview here prior to that (plus he gets extra points for having long hair).

        Reply
      • “I’m still mad at him for making us wait another 18 months for the next story about Boone and Wade.”

        Um, Wave, I have to tell you something. Now don’t get mad, it was an accident, sort of. You see, I e-mailed Ethan after I read LiF to tell him how much I enjoyed it and I said how cool the story within the story was. And then I may have kinda, sorta mentioned how much fun it would be to read the rest of Buck and Halo’s story.

        And Ethan got kind of excited by the idea and he may be pushing the next Boone book back a bit to do Buck’s story. Don’t get exited, we’re only talking 6 months to a year or so. And think how cool Buck’s story will be! And you know you can’t fool with these creative types. Once they get inspiration, you just gotta let them go with it. So… I’m sorry?
        *ducks and runs for cover*

        Reply
        • There is a word for people like you Tj and it’s not a polite word. 🙂 Fricking Buck’s and Halo’s story? I know you’re lying to me because I suggested that he might want to finish Boone’s sci fi book and he said that he would have to ask Boone’s permission, which means NFW.

          See, I talk to Ethan (which pisses him off no end) lol and I have a pretty good sense that the next book will have girl cooties, which makes me even madder that he’s putting off Boone and Wade for girl on girl action. Hell!!!!! DAMNATION!!!!

          Reply
          • Aww, I was just having some fun with ya Wave. Sorry. Ethan did mention the girl bits in his next story and I’m really interested to see what he does with that. But I’d like to know how he knows about girls bits. Is there something that he’s not telling us? 😉 Maybe he’ll come to his senses and realize that he hasn’t a clue what to do with girl bits and get back to the hot man on man action!

            Reply
          • I knew you were trying to get me going. lol
            He knows where to put that book. 🙂 You do have a point – how in hell does he know about f/f action?

            Ethan, if you’re reading this we would like an explanation. What do you know about girl parts?

            Reply
          • Okay y’all have done lost your minds with the girlie bits…LMAO! There will be no girl on girl action in the SP sequel…maybe a little girl on guy action, but that’s it! : )

            I know very little about girlie parts. But that’s never stopped me from writing about something before, LMAO!!!

            HA HA!! Take that!!! LOL! : )

            Reply
            • OK Ethan
              Here’s the deal. If you lose the girl I might love you again. If not – you’re with Buda. Do you know where that is? You don’t want to go there. Last I saw him he was on a new assignment that involved balls – weighing and tasting. What am I saying? That’s not punishment for you. Scratch that. 🙂

              Reply
    • Hi Dianne T! Wow…thanks for giving the books a try! I’m so happy you liked them…and I love hearing I kept people up all night…almost as much as hearing that I nearly got them fired from their jobs for laughing at work. : )

      LOL @ the muffin smirking!!! I’m picturing that as we speak. I’m totally ready for a little Hanson gossip too, so fire away! : )

      Reply
      • Hey Ethan! LOL, reading and laughing freely at work is one of the perks of my being my own boss 🙂 Thanks again for providing so much enjoyment. I have certainly added the rest of your works to my TBR “pile”.

        OK since you asked………After being shafted (not in a good way) by big record companies, Hanson went the indie route with very good success. They will shortly release their fifth studio album. They just finished a sold out tour – I have seen them live and they never disappoint. I give them credit for staying genuine with their music and sticking together as brothers – they are also very philanthropic, they are all married …. and prolific – between the three of them, they have 8 kids! (they are apparently interested in girl parts) Plus, Taylor looks DAMN fine in those tight jeans and long hair he likes to wear, yes sir.

        Posting this while enjoying a fresh baked apple spice muffin. 😉

        Reply
        • Wow!! You REALLY know a lot about Hanson!!!

          Luckily you didn’t say: Plus, Taylor who RIGHT NOW looks DAMN fine in those tight jeans and long hair — I’da been a teensy bit scared, imagining you up in a tree somewhere with some binoculars! ; )

          And 8 kids!?! Sheesh…who do they think they are…the Osmond’s? : )

          Posting this while enjoying a freshly made Sonic Sugar Cookie Blast. LOL!

          Reply
          • LOL, I like to “follow” some performers but I’m no stalker! My theatre buddy (who got me interested in Hanson) probably HAS been in a tree with binocs – these guys greet her by name!

            Hey, sounds like we have sugar and spice covered, here’s hoping you get everything nice this holiday season too 🙂

            Reply
  • Wow, great book! Congrats Ethan on being one of those few authors that can write humor so it works. I will definitely be re-visiting these characters to share smiles and laughter. What a gift– thanks Ethan Day

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Reggie! I’m happy you liked the book!!

      Wow – see what happens when you spend an evening looking up review content to go on your new website! I hate that I missed these comments, but thanks again for leaving them! : )

      Reply
  • LMAO!! I’d like to have 1200 pages ready over the next year…that’d be 4 or 5 books. I’d be doing some serious patting myself on the back if I managed that. Leave to TJ to throw down the gauntlet. ; ) At least he didn’t say anything about knocking me upside the head with it!

    Reply
    • “At least he didn’t say anything about knocking me upside the head with it!”

      Oh God forbid! I used to smack my TV to clear up the static – and I like all your static. 😉

      Reply
  • Bought it, read it, loved it! There’s not much I can add that wasn’t already covered in the review or comments, but I will say that this was a perfect continuation of Boone and Wade’s story. I could’ve strangled Boone at times, but then it was truly wonderful to watch him grow up before my eyes. I’m so proud of our boy. *sniff, sniff* Spot on review Wave. And well done Ethan, very well done indeed.

    Reply
    • Teej

      >>I could’ve strangled Boone at times, but then it was truly wonderful to watch him grow up before my eyes. I’m so proud of our boy. *sniff, sniff< < I could have kneed him, several times. lol >>Spot on review Wave.< < Does this mean no more fights about who gets to review the next book (except if it's a sequel of course)? 🙂 >>And well done Ethan, very well done indeed.< < Don't tell him that or he'll be even more unbearable. 🙂 Kidding Ethan.

      Reply
      • “Does this mean no more fights about who gets to review the next book (except if it’s a sequel of course)?”

        Nah, no fights. I kinda like being able to read Ethan’s book at my leisure. And besides if Sno Ho was 85 pages, and LiF was 314 pages, the 3rd book should be somewhere around 1200 pages. So have at it. I know how you love the really long ones now! LOL

        I hope he does a print book – i could use a new door stop!

        Reply
  • Okay, so I woke up early today for some reason, came down and bought this wonderful, delightful book. I spent the entire day reading it, putting aside most everything else, and I just finished it. Wow. Ethan, you outdid yourself. It deserves all of the stars you gave it, Wave. Very character- and emotion-driven with great dialog and tons of humor, it was the perfect sequel to Sno Ho (and I loved that Boone’s name on Wade’s cell phone was that!). If this were a multiple-course meal, SH would be the appetizer, and LiF is the rest right through to the sweets and coffee. Yum! If you haven’t already gotten this, people, run on over to MLR and snatch it up RIGHT NOW.

    Reply
    • Lynn, you’re making it very hard for me to finish the book I’ve been reading. I want to ditch it for LiF, but have been actually exercising restraint. But now…!

      Ah, hell! Forget it! Here I go. lol

      Reply
    • Lynn
      I was more nervous re your reaction to the book and the review than perhaps Ethan, because this is only the second book that he’s written that I have reviewed, and I wondered whether you might have thought I was crazy to be so enthusiastic. I re-read parts of LiF today and broke up at the one liners again. 🙂

      As Lynn said guys, if you haven’t bought this book yet – what are you waiting for?.

      Reply
    • LMAO!! Yay!!! I’m so happy you liked it too!! At least Wave won’t be out on an island with just me and some silly coconuts.

      I tried to keep it real with regard to what I felt Boone would be going through under the pressure of this type of whirlwind romance…under a microscope. And I tried to keep it real fun, cause well…that’s what I needed as the author at that time. I know…I know…selfish as always. : )

      Reply
    • Lily
      LiF will either Wow you or you’ll hate it. There’s no middle ground on this book. I really, really loved it because I loved the characters from Sno Ho and when I love a book you know I do. 🙂

      Reply
  • Great review Wave!….and though I won’t be able to read it for some time, I AM SO BUYING THIS TOMORROW….as soon as my boy gets home from the hospital, he is getting his tonsils and adenoids taken out, so I will be a bit preoccupied til the middle of the month….but I have been waiting for Life In Fusion and will not be able to resist buying it and then *sigh* waiting to read it *giggles*…..yay Ethan!

    Reply
    • If it’s no good, will you demand your money back? lol

      I once requested and received my money back from a publisher because the book was too long – I kid you not. They didn’t include the word count or the number of pages so it wasn’t my fault I was surprised. 🙁

      Reply
      • Wave, only you would demand money back because a book was too long! Sheesh! That’s like looking the gift horse in the mouth!

        I have a feeling I won’t be asking for my money back, but I fear the publisher may have forgotten it is an ebook. $8.99? Really? I know Ethan and the boys are worth every penny, but damn.

        Reply
        • Buda
          I just bought a cowboy anthology from Amazon for $9.99, and some of the print publishers such as Penguin are selling their ebooks for the same price as the print books.

          Reply
          • I’ve noticed that happening on Amazon, which is another reason I try to buy direct from the publishers in this genre.

            At 314 pages, LiF is less than $.03 per page, so I’m more than okay with it. Just surprised. lol It’s not like it stopped me from jabbing that Purchase button!

            Reply

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