Jayson James – Finding Our Way

finding our way

Author: Jayson James
Reviewed by: 
Susan
Publisher:
Self Published
Genre: 
M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13:
N/A

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

 

Summary:  

Justin Parker and Derrick Wilson have been best friends since meeting back in middle school. Currently they are in their junior year at Chandler High School, and living the good life as teenagers. They have great girlfriends, plenty of close friends, their own cars, and parents who are well off. As nice as things might look to an outsider, something is missing from each of their lives.
Justin has become the invisible son in the midst of his parents failing marriage. In an effort to get his parent’s attention, Justin keeps getting into trouble. So far he has been able to get away with anything without facing any repercussions, while Derrick is feeling distant and tired of what he feels is a too “perfect family”. He just wants to have a normal social life and spend time with his friends without the pressures from his family to spend time with them. With blurring the lines of friendship in the process to realizing what was missing and discovering who they really are.
Justin and Derrick take turns narrating the story of their junior year in high school and all of the events that take place in their lives. Being a teenager can be tough. Being gay can be tougher. For Derrick and Justin they are both, and life cannot get any more complicated.
What happens when two best friends cross the boundaries of friendship? Will they be able to be happy together? Will they keep their secret?

Review: 

Finding Our Way follows a year in the life of teenage friends, Derrick and Justin.  It deals with their friendships, their families and their feelings.  The boys are best friends and high school students and both are in relationships with their girlfriends.  Things start to change for them when they are challenged to kiss each other in a game of Truth or Dare.  They begin to re-evaluate their feelings for each other and the impact this will have on their lives.

The story is written in alternate POV’s, which gives the reader an opportunity to understand both boys’ feelings about events.  Derrick and Justin are honest about their feelings.  They see their new relationship as a continuation of the love they shared as best friends.  They suffer very little inner angst about discovering they are gay.  What does concern them is the possible reactions of their families and friends.

Justin’s home life is not easy.  His parents have been fighting more and more and as their relationship starts to break down they have very little time for their son.  He quickly realises that he will be able to get away with a lot of behaviour that they wouldn’t approve of simply because they aren’t paying any attention to what he does.  He begins to drink too much and this concerns Derrick and his other friends.

Derrick comes from a more stable family.  His parents are together and he has a younger brother and sister.  He is frustrated by the fact that his mother keeps pressuring him to spend more time with his family and less time with his friends.  Derrick is petrified that his parents will find out he is gay as he once overheard them making homophobic comments.

As the truth about them and their new relationship slowly emerges, the boys discover that people don’t always react in the way they expect them to.  They receive support from some they were unsure of and disgust from some they really care about.  Through all their experiences they remain strong together despite some occurrences of low self-esteem from Justin.

This book contains quite a few editing errors and at times I found the dialogue just a little stilted but the storyline was sweet and held my attention.  Not everything was resolved at the end of this first book and I definitely have my own ideas as to the issues I would like to see addressed in the sequel, Tormented Discovery.

 

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