Sophie Bonaste – The Sacrifices We Make

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Author: Sophie Bonaste
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Harmony Ink
Genre: M/M Young Adult
ISBN 13:

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

 

Summary:  Adam Jameson has always felt like an outsider in his own home, where his parents’ constant efforts to instill religious fervor have instead filled him with fear. Most of the time, he just wants to stay out of everybody’s way. But when Adam is forced to volunteer at a homeless shelter his senior year in high school, everything changes. He’s introduced to people who care about more than religion and, as a result, he starts to come out of his shell. For the first time in his life, Adam finds people who he wants to be around.

Mickey Stafford lives on the streets, a teen kicked out by his parents for being gay. He comes to the shelter for food and medical care, and after they literally run into each other, the two boys strike up a friendship. As Mickey introduces his new friend to the world he lives in, Adam starts to question everything: his parents, their religion, even his own beliefs. Once Mickey kisses him, Adam starts soul-searching and finds his heart, which is full of love for Mickey. But these two young men will have their love put to the test as they face a future of uncertainty and fear. 

Review: Adam comes from a rigidly religious, nearly puritanical family, and by extension, community.  He attends a private religious school where he feels like an outsider.  He can’t even look forward to college because it will be a similar religiously ingrained population.  Part of his family’s requirements is that he volunteer in the community.  Adam, for what seems like the first time, is exposed to people who think of things other than the hard-line religious dogma spouted by Adam’s father and the church.  

It is here that he meets Mickey, a homeless boy who was tossed out by his parents for being gay.  Adam literally runs into Mickey and immediately is drawn.  He wants to be Mickey’s friend.  It takes a little while because Mickey isn’t there all the time but eventually they become friends, best friends and then just a little more. 

This is one of those books where I loved the concept but got lost with the execution of some of it.  There were areas of dialogue that I had to question – would a teenager talk like that?  “No, Father.  I just thought you would want to know because I know you are acquainted with Mr. Mallory.”  That is a 14-year-old speaking.  

Adam and Mickey are lovely together.  Adam has the incredibly controlling father to deal with, the man makes his family dress for dinner, basically tells them what to think and say and hides all dissenting opinions behind the church, mandated Bible study every night but no real questions are tolerated.  Very, very aggravating.  

There is a definite religious=bad vibe going on.  I don’t remember anyone Christian in this story who was actually tolerant, open or kind.  I think this was to show the difficulty of the situation Adam found himself in but I would have liked a bit more balance.  I did like the “secret” in Adam’s family and how this led to the HEA for the boys.  You do pull for them and they were worth reading.

 

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