Title: Trailer Trash
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
Page Count: 340
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.
Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.
Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.
I saw the blurb for this book pop up some months ago in my Riptide Publishing Newsletter, and I knew I had to get my hands on it so I requested an ARC via NetGalley. It had everything I could want in a story, a small town backdrop in the 1980s, a closeted central character and an overarching theme, the AIDS crisis.
First and foremost, I anticipated the AIDS crisis to be more of a focus of the story which is why I rated this 4.5 stars instead of 5 solid stars, but luckily I rounded up.
Cody, small town boy, meets Nate while he’s hanging outside of the local gas station puffing on a cigarette. Nate is new to Warren, Wyoming. He walks into the gas station and attempts to buy a pack of cigarettes. Of course, since he’s underage, the clerk denies his request. Nate reluctantly leaves the store and encounters Cody leaning against the ice box outside, asks to bum a smoke, and our story begins. The major crux of the story deals with Nate attempting to decipher how he feels about Cody. The two boys spend an awful amount of time together, and feelings start to develop. Conflict arises for a few reasons, but I certainly won’t list them all. What fun would that be?
This is my second read by Marie Sexton, and I have to say I truly enjoy her writing style. She makes you invested in the characters. My heart broke for Cody since he was considered an outcast for being gay long before Nate stepped foot in his town. I enjoyed the introduction of the secondary character Logan. He was able to get Cody through some pretty tough times. Again, this was a smooth read with just the amount of angst. I swear I cheesed like the Cheshire Cat at the ending. Definitely an engaging romance worthy of being added to your To Be Read pile.
Fair warning, the book contains drug use and explicit violence.