And so, sorry if this is a spoiler, but I loved My Summer of Wes since it was sweet, and maybe naïve, but so romantic and pink glasses perspective. All the little angst you can find was already in Mal’s past; the reader has been told that he didn’t have a good experience in high school, he was bullied since he was smaller than other guys, and a little nerdy, and most of all, pretty like a girl. They told him he was gay, but Mal has never once kissed a boy or a girl, and so he doesn’t know what being gay means. Above all Mal is a late bloomer, and so he hasn’t really had any sexual desire, at least until the day Wes and his family move next door.
Wes is gay, out and proud, and he is beautiful; he is confident and cool, and he courts Mal from the beginning, at first in a flirty and lighty way, and then with more convintion. Mal seeks him out as a friend and little by little he realizes that his feelings are deeper than friendship, and Wes is there, ready to teach him.
There are some points why I tagged this romance as naïve: how Mal mistakes Wes as a guy his same age while Wes is 26 years old (and there all the self-confidence and experience Wes has more than Mal); as the author explains Wes living with his parents at that age simply saying that he was not comfortable living along in his previous neighboorhood since he was gay; how I felt like there was a story behind, maybe a broken heart, by some tidbit here and there, but the author chose not to fully explain it; the unresolved issues of Mal with his parents. But as I said, I probably preferred for the story to be naïve, rather than making a drama out of all the above details: Mal and Wes were living a summer loving, Mal is experiencing his first love, I loved that he was able to be cuddled, courted and well loved without reality introduing in the story.
Mal said his life was a vanilla pudding and that Wes and his family were a colorful little sprinkle; but Wes likes vanilla and there is little drama in a vanilla pudding, but it’s comfortable and sweet. Maybe Wes’s family is a little more liberal than Mal, but I don’t think they were bad; maybe not so caring, and very much distracted, but I can see them sitting around a table discussing about Mal’s future, and basically accepting what he is, and what he wants from life, at the only condition that he is safe and good, creating another vanilla pudding, only this time with a chocolate sprinkle in it.
Amazon Kindle: My Summer of Wes
Cover Art by P.L. Nunn