I think the author put together an original ensemble of characters: Farrell, the former high school bully, is a classic example of kid who is projecting the difficult situation he has at home outside, plus he is also fighting the realization he is gay, when his family is uber-conservative and anti-homosexual; Toyo is the fat kid, the one with a very low self-esteem, the one that today, successful business man, is still looking behind his shoulder believing everyone is laughing at the “fat kid”; even Allen, Farrell’s “bad” boyfriend, is, in a way, a good character, so vain that he is almost a farce. Maybe the only complain I have is that all these characters were too “harsh”, their edges were not smudged, and in this way, sometime, they scratched my reading. Farrell’s tendency to always fall in tear, Toyo’s stubbornness to always see the worst in Farrell, Allen’s selfishness, Ty’s mother being so uncaring, all of them were on the edge, like their faults were magnified by a lens.
But I applaud to the author’s plotting skills, and even if on the edge, their characters were for sure not ordinary. I above all liked that, even without being common, these characters were not extraordinary, and please forgive me the strange contraposition: the author managed to build an original story with ordinary characters, Farrell is not some unrealistic romance hero, Toyo is not a knight in shining armor; Farrell is generous, able to great kindness towards Ty, but Farrell is also the kid who was torturing Toyo; Toyo managed to build a new future for himself, but he is not turned into a fitness model, he is still an ordinary man, struggling with maintaining the right weight, still with his self-esteem issues.