Title: A Fine Bromance
Author: Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: August 11th 2016
Genre(s): LGBTQA Young Adult Fiction
Page Count: 180 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
When Robby starts his senior year in high school, he meets the new boy, Andy. Although Robby has never been physically attracted to anyone, he instinctively feels comfortable around Andy. As they get to know each other better, Robby realizes Andy is an outsider just like him, and harassment at the hands of the school’s bad boys makes it clear that Andy is a transboy.
When Robby’s eccentric Aunt Ivy finds some of her sentimental treasures missing, the boys put on their sleuthing hats to solve the mystery.
Told from the POV of both Andy and Robby, the story focuses on the two boys during their senior year of high school.
Andy is FTM transgender, and has moved with his family from Olympia to Seattle in order to start fresh for his senior year where no one knows he used to be “Andrea”.
Robby has spent the summer “bulking up” trying to become more fit, partially in an effort to realize his own sexuality.
Though if getting buff doesn’t work, he thought as he dressed, I don’t know what will. No matter what he did, from looking at porn to handling himself down there, he couldn’t get his brain to cooperate with the rest of him. Oh, he got hard if he played with himself, and he could bring himself off, but he just couldn’t respond to the sight of a sexy woman’s body. He looked at the pictures, but no matter how suggestive they were, they did nothing for him.
The two hit it off right away, and begin spending time together, which leads to a close friendship.
Andy and Robby deal with some bullies who are determined to make trouble for Andy, Robby’s eighty-year-old great-aunt Ivy has a small mystery to be solved, and there’s the normal teenage angst that accompanies that times everyone’s teenage lives.
I thought the story suffered a bit from sometimes being overly descriptive of situations and losing focus on the character’s relationship and growth.
The relationship between Robby and Andy could have been better fleshed out, as I really didn’t think the set-up for them moving into a more romantic relationship was really set up well. I was also hoping for a better explanation and focus on Robby’s asexuality, which isn’t even really determined until nearly the end of the story.
I’m not going to lie – for me, the asexual representation is what made me want to pick up the book. I was just hoping for a stronger storyline.
For me, I was slightly disappointed in the whole story. The “mystery” was obvious, the other characters, with the exception of Ivy, didn’t feel very well fleshed out, and the times spent on the Quiz Kids and history moments, I felt, took away from the character development that could have happened.
I was just hoping for a more character driven story, and I didn’t feel like I got that here.
However, if you’re looking for an inclusive teenage coming of age story, with a small mystery, a strong friendship that develops to more, overall good writing, and a HEA epilogue, I strongly encourage you to try it for yourself. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
Buy Link Amazon Global Author Link GoodReads More Author Reviews