When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.
Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.
The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.
Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.
This was a pretty solid book in my opinion. I thought I would have enjoyed it more than I did however.
I’ve read quite a few LGBT contemporaries in the past few months and they all had some quirk that hooked me. If the quirk in ACH was the gay teenage boy in love with his best friend, it didn’t work for me. Add on to that the fact that it felt like nothing really happened and you have a pretty disappointing situation. Don’t get me wrong, there were some scenes that I absolutely loved but they were, unfortunately, in the minority.
One perk of this book is the huge impact that music plays. The main character Tretch is a singer-dancer and is a die-hard Taylor Swift fanboy. One of those adored scenes I mentioned previously actually has to do with Tretch discussing T-Swift’s music with one of the characters. But, very early in the story he discovered the wonderful Ellie Goulding and her music played a much more crucial part in the story than Taylor’s.
Usually, the biggest part of contemporaries for me are the characters. Some quirk will hook me initially but the characters are what keep me coming back for more. But I didn’t like the main characters in this book. Tretch and his best friend-slash-love interest, Matt, just didn’t do it for me. Even their friendship was pretty meh.
What probably killed the two of them for me were my own expectations. Based on the cover, I expected Tretch to be at least sixteen. In reality, he’s fourteen (I think? Eighth or ninth grade if I remember right). Because of that Tretch acted a little too petty for my liking, although he did mature a bit toward the end.
On the bright side, we did have some interesting side characters; Matt’s dads (yes, he has two gay dads), a young lady named Lana Kramer with a crush on Tretch and Tretch’s grandparents. They brightened the book for me. There was also a scene with his dad that had so much potential but it wasn’t really followed up on.
To wrap this up, I’ll say that this is by no means a bad book. It just wasn’t my thing. I think it was a solid debut and I’m looking forward to seeing what WW puts out next.