With or Without You by Brian Farrey

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

Evan and Davis have been best friends since the third grade. They share many things: their sexuality, beatings from bullies, and a desire to escape their lonely little town of Madison, Wisconsin. In fact, they both plan to attend the University of Chicago this upcoming fall. However, Evan has one thing Davis doesn’t – a comforting and reliable boyfriend named Erik. Evan has successfully kept Erik a secret from his friends and his family for quite some time, but when Davis gets recruited to join the Chasers and pulls Evan along with him, Evan’s relationships take a turn for the worse.

I’ll focus on the good things first. I loved the characters and the writing. Evan and Erik’s relationship was real and compassionate. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t awkward and clumsy either. Though I disliked Davis, I liked how Brian Farrey kept his and Evan’s friendship a prominent part of the story without making it more than that. The writing didn’t amaze me, but it added a nice touch to the plot and there were some lines I wanted to write down and save for later.

There was one plot element I wanted to change, but it occurred later in the story and I don’t want to spoil it. This added element detracted from my enjoyment of the story as a whole. The ambiguity of the ending annoyed me initially, but as I thought about it more I realized it worked for the book.

Overall, a solid read. One of the best books with gay characters I’ve read in awhile.

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Filed under 4.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

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