Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. His fall through a glass table puts him in rehab and on the road to recovery. Then a friend dies. When depression causes him to lose ground, he calls for the only person he trusts—former bandmate Tommy. But Tommy doesn’t know how to help. He begs his friend Sebastian “Bas” Axelrod to aid them through the emotional struggle.
Bas, an openly gay high school student who’s recently lost his grandmother, is trying to survive his last few months of school before escaping to Stanford. Having just lost the only person in his family to care for him, he is victim to the cruelty of the others. His younger brother bullies him, and his parents are suing him for his gran’s inheritance. When Tommy calls, Bas can’t help but run to his side.
Together Dane and Bas find a middle ground, supporting each other through the lows, dancing together during the highs. They build friendships and plan for the prom and graduation, thinking positively as long as they are together.
This is the second in the series: Vocal Growth. It easily may be read as a standalone sequel.
The plot centers on the second member of the former boy band, Vocal Growth. Dane’s childhood was a combination of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, leaving him very psychologically damaged with an eating disorder and a body dysmorphic disorder. Finding himself alone and suffering an accident due to his psychological illness, he signs himself into rehab.
While written as a young adult title this easily crosses into adult interest. These are the most mature young adults imaginable. Wise beyond their years and with a maturity level rarely attained by young late teens. The writer does a great job making this believable.
The rehab section was well thought out and realistic when Dane meets Bas, who himself has been a victim of rape, family rejection and is a pariah in the local high school.
What follow is a story of two psychologically damaged individuals who meet, begin to become friends and develop a mutually beneficial love and support system.
This was all handled very gently by the author. The few sex passages are not graphic and similar to those found in heterosexual young adult novels.
Highly recommended both for young adults and adults.
The recipe for “Rainbow Poop” cookies would have been an asset if included.