breathes in and out againThis was an amazing, heartbreaking, beautiful, wonderful story about two guys who fall in love and have to face family and religion.
I was already excited about this book, been meaning to read it for ages, and now I am wondering why I never started this one sooner.
I will try to write a review, but I do have to warn you… it may be very chaotic as I am still full of emotion and this book was just too WOW!
From the start I was already into this book, but as soon as Tanner met Sebastian? Well, it was at that moment that I just couldn’t stop reading.
Tanner was just the sweetest, best, great guy ever! I loved how he was snarky but sweet. He didn’t expect to find love in this town, but then fell head over heels with Sebastian, the TA for The Seminar. I loved how he never gave up, tried his best to be there for Sebastian, how he tried to learn more about Mormons and Sebastian’s family situation.
I had a laugh how he first said he would never be able to write a book, but then proceeded to not be able to stop writing. He wrote everywhere, on post-its, on his laptop. Of course he had to be careful, as his subject matter… well, it was about him and Sebastian. Falling in love, going on secrets dates (hikes), kissing, and more. It wouldn’t be a good idea for this one to fall in the wrong hands. I do wish he was honest about what he was writing when Sebastian asked him about it (as he knew and also knew the implications if it came out). Instead he kept saying he was just writing a new book.
Sebastian! Awww, he was wonderful, though I have to say I wanted to shake him sometimes. I understood that he didn’t have it easy, but I wish he was a bit more tactful about certain subjects. Other than that, phew, it was so sweet. He was mature, and I was very interested in seeing if he could overcome the barriers that stood in his way. Would he be brave enough to come out? To tell his family the truth? How will his relationship with religion go?
I would have liked to know a bit more about his book, maybe see some parts of it, it sounds like a great book.
Autumn? Oh boy, I just LOVED the girl and how sweet she was towards Tanner. Their friendship was just so sweet and special. I do understand that she wasn’t all too happy at times. As soon as Tanner meets Sebastian he spends more and more time with him and less with Autumn. Then there is the whole coming out, Tanner didn’t tell her anything until way later in the story (which I could kind of get, given Provo and his mom’s history with LDS, but still, I wish he had opened up sooner). There was one scene I wasn’t sure about, but I guess I can vaguely understand why it happened. But I am happy with how these two resolved this situation.
Oh, and I ADORED what she did for Tanner near the end (for The Seminar).
The romance? Oh boy, it was sizzling. It was just so sweet to see these two together, to see them steal kisses whenever they had a chance, but not only the kisses. Their little stares, stealing glances in class, the texts they send. Ahh! swoons
I loved Tanner’s family. At times I found them a bit strict, but I can imagine they are just trying to make sure their son isn’t going to be a wreck if things go south. But they were also very supportive, sweet, caring and I was so happy with what they did for their kids. The mom was just amazing, I am not sure what she said to Sebastian, but it seems to help so so much.
The ending? Well, I was definitely sniffling, and at times crying. Not only because it was sad at times, but also very sweet and lovely. The ending was just perfect! I won’t spoil anything, but I am sure everyone will love it. Will cheer and dance around like mad.
Religion is a giant part of the book, not so much for Tanner (though his dad is Jewish, his mom is ex-LDS) , but very much for his love and the town they both live in, Provo. I have no experiences with Mormons and their religion, but I did feel that the author did an amazing job on writing about it, explaining various things, showing us several of the rules, how being queer was looked at, about family and service, about missions, well everything! There is a lot that is discussed, and it was quite interesting. Though at times I do have to say that I was wondering how everyone could just be so happy at times, it didn’t seem like everything was that easy with so many rules and expectations.
I felt so sorry for Sebastian, especially during the later parts when things escalated. 🙁 At those times I just wanted to hug him, tell him things would be all OK, in the end at least. I am already happy for him that conversion therapy isn’t a thing that is happening shivers.
Plus I am quite happy that, while being a bit eh about it (for good reasons), Tanner was still respectful of Sebastian’s religion, even being open about hearing more about it and going with him to help people out.
And we also see a bit more in the background of Tanner’s parents. Tanner’s dad and how he and Tanner’s mom got together (not very happy story there). Or how his mom is ex-LDS (and what happened to her sister).
Huge plus points to the fact that this book, this story, is also the book, story that Tanner wrote in the Seminar! And…
So, all in all, I am sure I could rave about this book for hours and days, I would highly recommend this book to everyone! Be sure to READ THIS BOOK!
Some gifs that fit with my reactions for this book: