Brendan is the most popular kid at high school, quarterback of the football team, handsome and friendly, for a very wealthy family that allow him to have a nice car and all the last fashion available, Brendan is even more fascinating since he seems unaware of his good looks and fortune. Brendan has also a secret, but not really something that is causing him trouble: he is gay, and in his openness and yes, lucky youth, he has already realized it and decided it’s fine. Sure, Brendan is aware he cannot come out at school that it’s not easy, but more or less, he is fine.
Not the same for Casper; he is the poorest kid at school, and even worst, he is abused at home; his older brother has more than once abused him and he is still doing that. Most night Casper sleeps under the open sky to avoid being alone in the same room with his brother. In his young mind, Casper associates being gay with being abused, and so, when Brendan makes a move with him, Casper is scared to death.
But as I said, Brendan is such a nice boy that Casper in the end is able to trust him; their newfound happiness is destroyed by Brendan’s family and but the dramatic decision they take on their son’s fate. Again Brendan will prove to be strong and with a self-consciousness that is rare in such a young man; he will maintain the promise he did to Casper to protect him, whatever it will take.
I preferred the first part of the story, until Brendan and Casper are trying to find their path in life alone; I found the last part, when Brendan and Casper go to live with Ethan and Nathan (from Someone Is Watching) a little too similar to what I guess is Ethan and Nathan’s own story, almost a repetition. All in all, I think that, even if Casper is cuter and the one who needs more protection, even from the reader point of view, I think the best character was Brendan, I most of all loved how he is so open with his feelings and ready to love despite all the trouble it implies.
Amazon: A Better Place
Amazon Kindle: A Better Place
Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (January 31, 2011)
Series: Gay Youth Chronicles
1) Outfield Menace
2) Snow Angel
3) The Soccer Field Is Empty
4) Someone Is Watching
5) A Better Place
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott