Review written for MM Good Book Reviews
The summer was perfect for John and Nick. They may not have gone site-seeing and vacationing around the world and on merry beaches, but they were together, living as a couple and working hard to maintain that level of freedom they so hardly won the previous year. And now time came again for the happy couple to return back to school for their final year.
No more bullies, no more terror, no more tears caused by monsters lurking in the shadows. Or so they thought…
Things became clear on their very first day that they were not to have the easy, happy final year they imagined. When Emily, Nick’s best childhood friend, came back to town and joined them to school, John had his girl-friends knew instantly that they were going to have some trouble. Little did they know the magnitude of their horrors?
When I read Surviving Elite High last year I thought that even though the story had too much in common with Mark Roeder’s Gay Youth Chronicles and was full of drama, it was cute and enjoyable. The plot was realistic enough, albeit a bit extravagant, that won me over.
However I expected the sequel a bit different. I expected our heroes to have changed, matured perhaps. Nick didn’t disappoint, he was the one character that I felt I really, really loved. His maturity was glaring and his love and commitment to their relationship astonishing even if a bit surreal.
But John, damn it, I thought that kid would be done with the crying this time. I felt a little let down by his instability in his relationship with Nick. While he constantly repeated himself that Nick is his one true love, his only one man and his rock and comfort till the end of time etc. etc. he was quick to think the worse with a single blow of bad air. His emotions and reactions were similar to a leaf in a winter-storm that has no power or control over itself, only goes where the wind blows. His fast jumping to conclusions and wallowing in despair before having facts laid down, or even when the glaring truth was knocking in his head for all it matters, didn’t bode well with me. In my eyes he was not a solid character in this book, because everything he did came to opposition with his academic brightness. While I excused many things for that character on the first book due to the fear factor that his life was constantly in, I cannot excuse him in the sequel. His love for Nick should have been more solid and not so easily challenged.
Moving on there were many things plot wise that did not add to my satisfaction. Emily, while a psychotic should have not been allowed so much. Logically the first time the threats started and with the background of the previous year, the guys should immediately have contacted the police. It would have been the most logical thing to do, yet they again jumped to conclusions and took matters in their own hands. The plot felt like going round and round in circles what with so many scenes of bad things happening followed closely with a short dose of happiness and then over again, with each scene not properly developed and leaving questions to be answered. What was more disturbing was the rape scene and how incomplete the during and the after of that was emotion-wise. It seemed as if John recovered extremely well and fairly quick from that.
The end of the book however was quite satisfactory and made up for a lot putting an end to lots of questions in regard to our beloved pair. Looking the overall work and keeping in mind the over-exuberant and melodramatic streak of the Saga I quite enjoyed it. Yet again I loved Nick and couldn’t feel happier for him the way things ended. Perhaps John’s pride in him has him biased, but that Nick Wild Hawk could indeed make for president one day if he keeps his temper in check. ;)