Title:You Are Not Me (’90s Coming of Age #2)
Publisher:Leta Blake Books
Release Date:November 29th 2016
Genre(s):Contemporary, Coming of Age, Gay literature
Page Count: 328
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Follow Peter into the summer following his senior year to face new beginnings, new friends, and old baggage.
After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It’s the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.
Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.
But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel’s role in his life – a brief temptation, or something more?
Join Peter in the second book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.
This new series by Leta Blake is gay fiction with romantic elements.
Book 2 of 4.
Length: 100,000 words, 328 pages
These books contain aspects of: New Adult fiction, ‘90s gay life, small city homosexual experiences, Southern biases, sexual exploration, romance, homophobia, bisexuality, and twisted-up young love. Oh, and a guaranteed happy ending for the main character by the end of Book 4.
I tried to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but I couldn’t avoid giving away plot points about the first book. Proceed with caution.
The year is 1991. R.E.M are releasing “Losing My Religion”, the world is dealing with the social and political aftermath of the 80s AIDS, and people are still using a VCR.
For the majority of this book, Adam and Peter aren’t together on page. Adam is in Italy, and they talk on the phone frequently (with Adam promising things he can’t give, and Peter trying to figure himself out). But while Adam is away, something happens in Peter’s life. Something very important
Peter starts making new friends. Gay friends, bisexual friends, friends who aren’t afraid to be seen with him, friends that show him the way. For the first time ever, Peter founds himself in a safe community, a place he belongs to. He finds all these things that Adam took from him, or to be precise, never let him discover on his own. It was so beautiful, seeing Peter growing into the man he was meant to be.
And then there’s Daniel, the new character. Daniel swept me off my feet! He is kind and confident. He’s charming and know what he wants. Daniel just…loves people. And he’s falling for Peter. And Peter is falling too, but there’s Adam. There’s always Adam.
Maybe some of you will want to throttle Peter. I know you will, because I did too. But at the same time I identified with him so hard, and I know a lot of people will. You know the kind of love that you feel deep in your bones, and when it starts to fade away you try to cling to it with everything you have? It’s bad for you, but it used to mean the world , and what are you going to do without it? Have you been there? If you have, you will weep with Peter. There’s a scene in this book that illustrates this perfectly; it’s such a simple scene, but its truth took my breath away.
“Adam’s chair scraped on the tile. His bare feet slapped across to me, but I didn’t look up. I noticed the hair on his toes and the tuft on his arch. I suddenly became anxious that I didn’t have any photos of his feet. Anything could happen. Things could change at any moment. Words could be said that’d end things between us right now. I might even be the one to say those words.
But I had no pictures of his bare feet.”
As for Adam…I’m worried for him and he makes my heart hurt. I want him to find happiness, I want him to thrive and show the world what he can do. But I’m no longer on his side. Adam is no good for Peter, and his selfishness and disrespect towards him in this book, made me wonder if he loves him as much as he claims to.
“I already knew what happened when I combined hope with Adam: pain.
The ending of the second book is the beginning of a new chapter. And that’s all I’m going to say.
This is such an important and poignant book. An important series, actually. I ‘ve only used the word “epic” to describe ICoS. I’m holding myself back here because there are two more books to go, but right now I can easily see me putting this on my “epic” shelf. The author does not label this as romance, so please know this going in and don’t hold it against the book.