When the story starts, Milo is 12 years old and Liam 6. Milo has just realized that he prefers boys over girls and when he meets Liam, he recognized a soul mate in the little boy; this is probably one of the points in the book that let me more perplexed: while it’s quite understandable for a 12 years old boy questioning his sexuality, sincerely I think that 6 is a bit too early. True, Liam is a little genius, way ahead his peers, but still, the reason why Milo tags him as gay, his sensibility, his ever-so-slight lisp, probably is not enough reason.
Anyway, 12 years old Milo decides to become the protector of 6 years old Liam, both from the outside world than himself: Liam arrives to 18 years old that he is not only a spoiled brat but also totally unable to face the big bad world. And as soon as Milo, that is not so much older and experienced than him, do his first mistake, than Liam is all alone to face the consequences. And the consequences are very bad and hurting, to a level that brings Liam to the edge of suicide.
The starting point of the story is quite interesting, two very young boys, fated to be together, meet when both of them are too young to do something; it could have been a pink glasses perspective story, with a bed of roses waiting for them, and instead the author decided to turn it in a real life nightmare. It’s also almost a declaration on the importance of family and the support of parents: both Milo than Liam, for different reason, don’t have them, they are family and parents for each other, and of course they don’t have the right experience for being both. When they arrive to the beginning of their adulthood, they are more kids playing little home than real grown men ready for the future.
If a reader picks this novel with the idea to have a light story about pretty and cute rock musicians, he will have a surprise: there is a very heavy dark tone, and to no one is spared nothing. What Milo and Liam didn’t learn while growing up, they will learn in the worst way by direct experience in fast forward. This is not a pretty story, and in some points it left me wondering, but all in all, it was unique in its genre.
Amazon Kindle: Shattered Glass
Publisher: MLR Press,LLC (April 6, 2012)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott