Title: Violence Begets
Author: P.T. Denys
Publisher: Wilde Works; Indie Artist Press
Release Date: December 25, 2013
Genre(s): Gay Fiction, Young Adult, Coming of Age, Contemporary
Page Count: 364 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
After a tragic accident devastates his family, 16-year-old Rick St. James starts his junior year of high school without any friends in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. When he meets Kevin Vincent, he’s too distracted by the promise of new friends to see that Kevin has secrets of his own.
Having created an environment where he’s feared and admired by his classmates, Kevin finds pleasure in using his good looks and violence to control and manipulate those around him. Secretly, he cruises the gay club scene, turning tricks to earn money so he can party and get high.
As Rick’s dad becomes increasingly violent and abusive at home, the two form a surprising and volatile trust. In this battle of wills, their precarious friendship will either keep their lives from blowing up around them or possibly light the fuse that will cause the explosion.
I purchased this book well over a year ago. December 25, 2014, to be exact. As I type this review I realize the release date was Christmas day 2013. Crazy! Anywho, Violence Begets had been sitting on my Kindle unread. Why? *shrugs* I like dark reads, I like gripping reads, but I have to be in the mood for them. I’ve been in the mood for dark reads lately, so I decided to give the old Kindle a whirl and look at some of my prior purchases. Violence Begets jumped out at me and screamed, “READ ME NNNNOOOOOWWWWW!”
I finished the book on May 18th. I’m just now getting around to writing a review. Why? Because I was gutted. Like stabbed in the heart, the knife was twisted, and I was left on the ground trying not to bleed out. PT Denys has written exactly one book. ONE BOOK and she has managed to make me feel things I haven’t felt with a book in a long while. People, people, people I was heavily in my feels once I finished this book. HEAVILY.
The reader already knows from the blurb this is going to be a rough read. I was only a quarter of a way into the story, and I had to take a break. Once you wrap your head around what’s going to happen to the characters, it makes it somewhat easier to forge ahead, keyword being somewhat.
Rick St. James and his family have moved from California to Utah after a tragic accident. Things haven’t been right, and there is tension in the St. James household. The reader is given clues as to what happened in California, and ultimately via flashbacks, there’s confirmation as to what occurred. Break out the Kleenex. It’s not pretty, and Rick still experiences nightmares because of it.
Kevin Vincent is a jerk, but he grows on you. He’s popular, but in that manipulative bad boy kind of way. The guys in his clique fear him and girls love him. Little do they know despite his sexual prowess, Kevin is gay. Closeted but very gay. I have to admit; I enjoyed the way his character was introduced. LOL, my kinda guy. A douchey hero you end up loving down the line despite and because of his outrageous behavior.
Kevin like the predator that he is picks up on Rick’s “newness.” He scopes him out and recruits him to join his clique. He sees weakness in Rick, but little does he know Rick isn’t as naive as Kevin makes him out to be. The guys sort of forge a friendship… lol if it can even be called that. This dear reader is where our story starts to gain traction. These fellas have more in common than they could’ve ever imagined, and when the realization dawns on them, Violence Begets quickly turns into a story of survival. Despite the rough subject matter, I drew out finishing this book. It was incredible. PT delivered a solid gut punch that made me love her one minute and hate her with a passion the next.
I was a teary-eyed messed. Sad, angry, hurt, engaged, betrayed but I loved her writing through it all. That’s what you call an excellent storyteller. *in my Ric Flair voice* WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This book gets 5+ stars because it took me on an emotional journey that I thought I was ready for but clearly I wasn’t. There were mild grammatical errors that I didn’t deduct stars for because they didn’t take me out of the story. Nothing is perfect when it comes to publishing. Some things get overlooked, but it’s nothing that a reader would find excessive. I hated the ending, but I get why the series of events went as they did. PT had a game plan, and my feelings weren’t involved. Damn her. DAMN HER!
Read this book people. Do it. Well, unless of course you can’t handle dark reads. Be forewarned, abuse is present, drug use is present, and both may be triggers for some readers.