Friday 26 May 2023

Lose You to Find Me

Lose You to Find Me by Erik J. Brown (Hachette), RRP $19.99 PB ISBN 978-1-444-97002-9

Reviewed by Susan Hancy

In this YA novel, 17-year-old Tommy is passionate about baking and wants to make that his profession. He’s been working as a waiter in an old people’s home, Sunset Estates, to get the experience he needs to be considered for one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the US. He has one shot to be accepted into that school and pins all his hopes on it: it’s the school his deceased father attended before having to drop out to spend the rest of his life working in the family business.

Openly gay to his friends (but not yet to his Mum), Tommy’s life is busy with school, work, attending parties with his close circle of friends who also work at Sunset Estates, hanging out with his super-intelligent best friend Eva, and having the occasional drunken hook-up with an ace from the hockey team, Brad, who hasn’t come out as gay yet.

When his childhood crush, Gabe De La Hoya – the first boy who unconsciously helped Tommy to realise he was gay as an 11-year-old – walks into Sunset Estate as a new trainee waiter and back into Tommy’s world, Tommy’s heart flips and he does everything he can to become more than just friends with gorgeous Gabe. But Gabe is in another relationship; one that Tommy has a bad feeling about. Tommy oscillates between moping and trying new schemes to get Gabe’s attention, such as enlisting Gabe’s help to create an impressive video of him baking to support his culinary school application. But even that is not to be.

In the first half, this coming-of-age story is a little slow and predictable with teenage crush antics. However, the second half surprises, shocks and has the reader rooting for Tommy as the characters are developed and sub-plots are revealed and woven together. It’s hard to not shed a tear at Tommy’s mum’s response to his coming out to her. And true to the book’s title, Tommy eventually realises that his life has other equally fulfilling and wonderful options other than what he spent so long believing to be his only path. The life realisations of the other main supporting characters are equally satisfying to read about and the conclusion leaves the reader happy. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, appropriate for readers aged 15 years and over.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.