Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Finding Yourself in Freshman Year

The first year of college is always a year of change for eighteen-year-olds. For Lewis, it's a year of revelation as well in Jay Northcote's Not Just Friends.

Lewis moves from Kent to Bristol where he meets his flatmates, all of them freshmen. One young man in particular catches Lewis' eye. Max is an out-and-proud gay man which intrigues Lewis who has called himself straight rather than buck the tide.

As he hangs out with Max, Lewis begins to feel the latent twinges of homosexuality that he's been repressing since he had a crush on one of his lower form friends. Suddenly Lewis is questioning whether he's gay or not, and coming up with the answer that he is.

Meanwhile, he's hanging out with Max and agrees to be his friend, only to watch the handsome, charismatic Max get a boyfriend who, after a few nights together, dumps Max. Now when Lewis is ready to get serious about Max, Max decides he's off boyfriends and only wants to be Lewis' really good friend.

Jay Northcote explores the ups and downs of freshman year and the changes young people go through as their world expands. Because it's based on the British school system, the book will be particularly interesting to Americans who are in college or who've been through it since some events and people are quite recognizable and some are completely different. This is an added dimension to a sweet story that isn't terribly remarkable, but definitely enjoyable.
Read the rest of my review at The Romance Reviews.

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