Boy Shattered (Bob-O-Link’s Review)


Title: Boy Shattered
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Edition: Second
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre(s): Gay Young Love, Mystery, Suspense
Page Count: 253
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

“You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.”

I had everything. I was school quarterback, popular with girls, and I made my dad proud. I told myself it didn’t matter that no one knew the real me. Then I nearly died.

It was out-and-proud Landon who saved my life. Now I’m a mess—can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. The one good thing about losing it all? You get a chance to start over. Only, how can I move on when the school shooters were never caught?

“Will you kiss me?”

When I came across Brian Marshall dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do: I helped him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he came back to school weeks later, he was broken in body and mind. Somehow we became unlikely besties.

What I saw that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world? I’ll take it.

Only, the horror at Jefferson Waller High isn’t over.

Second Edition. First Edition published by Pinkerton Road, October, 2018.



This reviewer was taken aback when, some little ways into Boy Shattered, I realized I had previously read the novel. Learning that the book was a reissue reconfirmed my sanity. But as I progressed, I also became aware how much, like running into a favorite cousin at
family reunion, I was pleased to enjoy it all over again.

The Blurb, above, lets you know about the book’s topicality, which, sadly, seems to inescapably repeat itself. Boy Shattered approaches one of America’s current tragedies not as a news event, but rather as an occurrence affecting real people – many of them just entering their adulthood. Eli Easton allows us to be there for it, bearing the results along with the participants. She really knows how to emotionally engage us.

The story’s structure is beautifully embellished periodically with apt insertions of poetry “written” by Brian Marshall, one of our two main characters. They are windows into Brian’s deepest feelings and thus we become “secret sharers.” The story’s arc connects Brian to the sensitivity and immediate affection of Landon. Their relationship begins with a horrific event, and grows from the moment Landon offers comfort to Brian. Landon feels a stronger connection than ever before, instructing wounded Brian: “Then don’t die.
Okay?”

Ms Easton takes us through the shock and pain suffered our heroes, each individually affected and reactive to the school shooting. That they continue to build a strong relationship seems to be their reward for surviving. Their families are also put before us – each interesting in that one is so different from the other, but both are likely reflective of people any reader might identify. If you wonder where maturity comes from, just read on as Landon and Brian tune into the world around them, draw on the strength of the other as they grow to love one another, and their observations of the reactions of those around
them.

Boy Shattered is far from a Sunday homily. It is a story of real topicality. It is a story of young, new love and the beginning of expressed sexuality. It is also a whodunit, meant to intrigue us to the very end.

And, thankfully, it is often witty.
Ex. 1: “Brian deserved to be treated like anyone else. Wasn’t ignoring someone because they were too good-looking as bad as ignoring someone because they were ugly?”
Ex. 2: “Anyone who says the head rules the body is full of shinola, as my dad would say. The heart might want what the heart wants, but the dick absolutely rules the clubhouse.”
Ex. 3: “If my gayness had ever been hypothetical, now it was clear. Immutable proof meet Brian Marshall. Brian, immutable proof.”

Boy Shattered is a fine read and will assuredly satisfy almost any reader on so many levels.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Boy Shattered provided by Harmony Ink Press in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I’m a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.

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