Title: End of the Innocence (Tales from Foster High #4)
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: November 15th 2012
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
Page Count: 316
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Kyle Stilleno is no longer the invisible boy, and he doesn’t quite know how he feels about it. On one hand, he now has a great boyfriend, Brad Greymark, and a handful of new friends, and even a new job. On the other hand, no one screamed obscenities at him in public when he was invisible.
No one expected him to become a poster boy for gay rights, either—at least not until Kyle stepped out of the closet and into the limelight. But there are only a few months of high school left, and Kyle doubts he can make a difference.
With Christmas break drawing closer, Kyle and Brad are changing their lives to include each other. While the trials are far from over, they have their relationship to lean on. Others are not so lucky. One of their classmates needs their help—but Kyle and Brad’s relationship may be too new to survive the strain.
Excuse me while I’m picking up my heart off the damn floor. What the hell, John Goode, Jesus Christ!
I read the first part with a heavy heart, sensing impending doom. I cried my eyes out during the last 20% and I totally lost it with the author’s afterword. Now would be the time for me to say that reading is my happy place and when shit gets too dark and depressing I’d rather not. But I’d be such a privileged little shit to bring this up here. It might have totally wrecked me in the worst possible way but I don’t regret not even one minute I spent with this book.
I will not talk about the bad thing that happened. First because I don’t like to give away plot points in my reviews and second, because you already know about it since you, unlike me, haven’t been living under a rock all this time. But it’s bad. I kept telling myself that it won’t go there. But it did.
Despite the darkness, the romance between Kyle and Brad is blooming. Their intimate moments are swoon worthy and their connection is unbreakable. Who would have expected that from our boy, Brad?
Romance aside, this is probably the greatest example of characters who, slowly but steadily, reach their full potential during the course of a story. I don’t only mean the main protagonists but the side characters as well. Jennifer is a huge surprise! I loved Robbie fiercely and I want him to get a story. Every character is so multi-dimensional, it takes mad skills to do that. Hell, I think that Foster as a whole is growing! Maybe not so hopeless after all? And while I don’t like multiple POVs, it was used in the most clever way here.
Sometimes there’s a voice whispering to me that Kyle is too much for his age. But on the other hand, the guy is crazy smart and I hate it when people say that teenagers don’t speak or think that way or another. My experience has taught me to never undermine a teenager’s insightfulness or their ability to empathize. Especially those who have been wronged by this world.
Bottom line, you need to read these books. It doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is, or what kind of reader you are. If you ‘re a teenager, a parent, a teacher, or simply a human being, you need to read these books.