“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Jason Barrett does not remember anything about his past except his name. he moves from place to place and is about to leave New Hanover when he stumbles upon Ravi Mittal in the park. the teenage boy fainted from overdoing his workout and Jason helps him but before Ravi could talk to him, Jason disappears. after the incident, each thinks about the other until they meet unexpectedly where Jason works. they become friends and much more. Jason begins to feel settled and the thought of leaving again slowly loses its grip. however, there is still the mystery of his past that would not let go until Jason could solve it.
this is not your typical lgbt teenage story where boy meets boy, falls in love and everything afterwards is happily ever after. there is so much more here than meets the reader's eyes.
the book's first quarter appears to be the usual fare found in any story and which are familiar to any reader - introducing the setting and characters and establishing the conflict. now this conflict turns out to be not one but two and each carries it own weight. rather than dragging the plot down, each of this burden propels the main protagonists and other characters to make decisions and spur them into action that impacts on one another.
the second quarter of the book until the very end is filled with exciting yet tense moments as the mystery surrounding Jason unravels. i was not expecting the turn of events and i knew i had to finish the book despite the late hour. it was either a choice between losing some precious sleep or losing my momentum. i sacrificed the former so i carried on and it was worth it!
Gene Gant did a great job with this novel. i like it that:
- there were multi-ethnic characters
- teenage angst was kept to a minimum (too much of it wears down my reading)
- the teenagers behaved responsibly most of the time
- the adults were understanding and supportive
- the issue of prejudice was resolved
- there was a happy ending!
because of this novel, i look forward to reading more of Gene Gant's works in the future.
my personal rating is:
Always Leaving contains material not suitable for younger readers 15 and under.
Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy for review from NetGalley. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.