Title: So Close
Author: Ella Blake
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 10th, 2018
Page Count: 204
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Two best friends.
A thousand temptations.
Too much guilt.
What would you do if the spring of your deepest desires was just one step away from you, and yet so morally unattainable?
Ramo knows what he wants—or better yet—he knows who he wants, and he is willing to do anything to make things happen.
Ric is split in half: he struggles, he runs away—but never far enough.
Will his heart and mind reach a common ground? Which one will be the first to blink?
‘So close’ is a mix of love, drama and explosive passion.
This is the closest you get to depriving yourself from happiness. The story begins with Mattia and Riccardo as they are 4 years old and Mattia’s brother Omar is born. It’s written in dual alternating POV’s between Omar (Ramo) and Ric. By the end of the book Ramo has graduated from college.
Living across from each other, Mattia and Ric have been best friends since they were born the same day in the same hospital. They have been inseparable and when Ramo is old enough, he becomes the third in their group, always trying to keep up. Ric is always sensitive to Ramo and ensures that he’s always welcomed into all activities.
Mattia has loving parents and Ric has a father that is verbally and physically abusive. When his parents are fighting, he walks over to Mattia’s house to wait it out. Mattia’s parents have welcomed him with open arms and have supported his spending as much time as possible with them. When things get out of hand when Ric is 10 years old, Mattia’s family adopts him into theirs.
Things take a turn when Ramo turns 15 and Ric can’t stop thinking about him. He feels like it’s a betrayal to his family to have these thoughts and knows that there is nothing that can ever come of them. But when Ramo reveals his feelings, Ric has to decide what he can live with… and without.
There were quite a few things that I liked about the story. I enjoyed reading about how much Ramo cares about Ric from the start. There is a scene when Ric comes over in the middle of the night after his father has beaten him and Ramo sits with him and tells him he’s there, and will always be there, no matter what. It was a very touching moment in the story. I liked how that played into the decision that Ric made later about making sure that Ramo’s feelings weren’t just a carryover from the brotherly bond that they had created from being together their entire lives.
I liked how supportive Mattia and Ramo’s parents were of Ric from the first page. They loved him like their son and never wavered. Even at the end, they were grateful for his happiness.
Even though there was a break of three years where there was little to no contact between Ric and Ramo, it wasn’t the focus of the book. So many times the spotlight is placed on the agony of being apart and finding little joy in life and that wasn’t what this was about. This was about separating feelings and trust and hope.
There was a bit of a translation issue for me that I didn’t love, especially when it came to the end piece where Ric had his little hares. I kept trying to figure out what that referred to and came up short. I also had an issue with how little of Mattia was spoken of in the last part of the book. He was missing from every scene and it seemed short sighted to me since he was an integral part of the story from the start.
Overall I enjoyed the flow and each snippet in time showed the growth of the boys’ relationship with each other and the family. I thought the journey was worth the read.
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