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After spending most of his life in special schools, Caleb Stone now faces public high school in his senior year, a prospect that both excites him and threatens to overwhelm his social anxiety. As a deaf teenager, he’s closed himself off to the world. He speaks a shorthand with his parents and even finds it hard to use American Sign Language with people in his local deaf community. But Caleb finds comfort in his love of photography. Everything he can’t express in real life, he posts on his Tumblr.
Struggling to reconcile his resentment for his father’s cruelty with the grief of losing a parent, Luc Le Bautillier scrolls through Tumblr searching for someone who might understand his goth look and effeminate nature. When Luc reblogs a photo by Caleb, sparking a conversation, they both find it easier to make friends online than in person.
Luc and Caleb confront their fears about the opinions of the outside world to meet in New York City. Despite Caleb’s increasing confidence, his parents worry he’s not ready for the trials ahead. But communication comes in many forms—when you learn the signs.
Caleb is a deaf, high school photography enthusiast who only wants to be normal. His past has made him a misfit in the deaf world and his present makes him a misfit in the hearing world. He is an amazingly hard worker and doesn’t realize how lonely he is.
Luc is a Goth teenager living in Manhattan. He’s surrounded by people who don’t understand him and only has a handful of people who truly care about him.
Both boys are looking for high school to end and yet both really couldn’t want more different things from life. Luc likes attention and hates the East Coast. His mother really isn’t… there and his sister is the person who he looks to for love and support. Caleb is an only child who is close with his parents but only wants to blend in and be invisible and can’t wait to move to NY.
When Luc sees a picture taken by Caleb online he is instantly attracted to it and the boy behind the art. They make a long distance, electronic connection that eventually leads to video chats, multiple daily texts and emails and finally an in-person meeting.
Though neither boy is “out” and neither has ever had a boyfriend (or girlfriend) they know that they are interested in the other “that way”.
From this point forward the boys move their long distance relationship along, growing closer and closer, spending more and more time together, both emotionally and physically.
When Luc needs a shoulder to cry on it’s Caleb he seeks out. When Caleb gets disappointing news, Luc is the one who can bring him out of his funk.
Finally, high school is over, Caleb is scheduled for an important surgery and college can be the next thing the boys tackle… together.
Wow! This is an amazing book. It is so simple in its premise: boy meets boy, boy kisses boy, boy falls in love with boy, HEA. But… each MC is so richly drawn and carefully constructed that the simple story only showcases the complexity of its characters.
The boys live polar opposite lives, but somehow have similar experiences of isolation and loneliness. They want their parents approval but don’t necessarily NEED it. They both love and hate their peer group and want to be their own true selves.
Though there are moments of tension, most of this story is a really slowly blossoming love story and coming of age story in one. Both boys grow and change and seem to fit better in their own skin by having known the other.
I have no idea if there is a part two, but there should be! When we leave both boys are really on the cusp of manhood and though you know their love is deep and abiding, I would love to see what happens to them on their own, with their new lease on life.
Anna Martin writes so smoothly that the story flows without effort and you are sucked into the lives of Caleb and Luc instantly, from page one.
I loved how the back story for each boy was never completely, fully explained, but dribbled out as the other learned it, in a very organic and real way. I really want to know what happened to Caleb to make him stop speaking and why Luc has nightmares, so I hope there is more to come for these boys.
The sexy times were sweet and tender and totally age appropriate, and though the story line is YA I think anyone would appreciate their story. Sex plays a role, but not the central role.
I can’t praise this high enough! 6 of 5 hearts!
PS Isn’t the cover so beautiful?!