Title: Every Time I Think of You
Author: Jim Provenzano
Cover artist: n/a
Publisher: Self published (CreateSpace)
Amazon: Every Time I Think of You
Genre: YA romance
Length: 266 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: I can see why this book won Lambda last year 🙂
After an abrupt encounter in a small woods of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Reid Conniff, a shy and studious high school distance runner, becomes swept up in the adventurous world of Everett Forrester, a privileged and capricious charmer. Overcoming the distance of their separate schools, parental interference, and a nearly fatal accident, the two young men find a way to be together in spite of their own doubts and fears. Set in 1979-1980, Every Time I Think of You recalls a halcyon era in America’s past with a personal voice.
This was another book in the line of several awesome YA books that I have read lately. I do want to start with what I did not like and why I did not grade the book five stars, which otherwise I felt it would deserved without doubt.
This would be the dreaded Insta!Love. Granted, one can read it as Instant attraction, but for me it was just too strong and too fast to consider it a simple attraction. It happens in the beginning of the book and it left me with a kind of Dream- like impression therefore initially it did not bother me and had the book continued in a Dream- like, fairy – tale- like style, it would not have bothered me later on either. I thought however that the story switched to a realistic style quite fast and therefore the beginning for me personally felt a little off. But I definitely enjoyed everything what happened after the first few pages. Everett and Reid getting to know each other, falling in real love with each other, growing up together and apart.
As the author mentions in the blurb, one of the guys gets injured during the course of the novel and both of them have to deal with the harsh consequences of such injury and have to work hard for their happy ending. I really liked the portrayal of a person learning to live with disability in this book, but I am not living with disability, just with some chronic illnesses, and I am perfectly aware that this is so not the same thing. In other words, if you are living with a disability or have a loved one who does, do more careful research to make sure the book will not upset you. I am trying very hard to avoid the spoilers in this review.
I really liked that both Everett and Reid are portrayed as sexual beings. As some of you who read my reviews may know I am a reader who really does not care whether the novel has a lot of sex scenes or not. Moreover one of the reasons I started to read more YA literature was because I wanted to find more stories with great plot and characterization as opposed to the stories where plot and characterization are substituted by lots and lots of sex scenes.
And I definitely was able to find some YA stories that made me a very happy reader, however I also noticed that a lot of YA writers tend to go to another extreme in their portrayal of the sex scenes- they do none of them. I mean, if a book is oriented to very young readers, I guess I can understand that, but if the book is for ages 16-18, why not? Teenagers are having sex in real life and I do not see why it should not be reflected in the books (not that I am asking for the YA books to become erotic romances, but some not very explicit scenes that fit the story, why not?).
I was happy that this book did not make the 17-18 year old protagonists abandon their sexual desires. Their connection is definitely not based on sex only, but sex is the part of their connection.
I want to leave you with a sample of the writing and my whole hearted recommendation of this book.
“ He grinned, reached downward to rub my thigh. “ And what is your favorite thing?
I hesitated, considered the varied settings of our prior intimacy. I wanted to say, “when that leaf landed on our back in the woods,” or “the taste of your lips after drinking champagne,” or “the glow of your skin with snow light reflecting on it.” Instead , I hinted , “That thing you did with your tongue.”
“You know, on New Year’s Eve with my butt.”