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Gloria's Pages

Currently reading

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
Progress: 27/268 pages
Robert Harris
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Thich Nhat Hanh

The Christmas Throwaway

The Christmas Throwaway - R.J. Scott This is a cute, relatively fast read with a strong start and a weak finish. Too bad. I basically just reread the first half and stop. If the second half had been as strong as the first, or if the author had made it a short story, it would have been a four or five for me.

Zach is, frankly, adorable. He was beaten and tossed out of the house by his homophobic father after refusing to join the Army, and a week later he is in the middle of nowhere, trying to sleep on an ice-covered bench behind a church a couple days before he turns 18. Ben is the small-town cop who finds him. He takes Zach home to his mom, bringing him into the warmth and comfort of a real loving family. At first Zach is mistrustful, a week on the street plus years of abuse had taught him not to trust anyone, but soon the love of Ben's family, and Ben himself, teach Zach to trust again. That isn't to say it's easy for him--he has panic attacks and the physical effects of the beating to deal with, along with serious concern over the safety of his sister.

As I said the second half is fairly weak. Zach's dad makes it easy on Zach by murdering his mother and getting locked up, giving Zach custody of his little sister, and the romance between Ben and Zach occurs slowly and mainly off-screen. This is largely because of Zach's age, Ben doesn't want to put pressure on him even though he becomes legal early in the story. I understand that and it's actually a good idea, but it means that most of the relationship-building occurs elsewhere and their actual romance doesn't start for a couple years. Basically it's a bit boring, and while that might be the best thing for Zach, it's not for the readers.

Read the first half, it's truly good, but skip the second. That's my advice.