4 Stars for Tearing Us Apart by Amanda Clay #YA @aclaywrites

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Title: Tearing Us Apart
Author Name & Publisher: Amanda Clay (Torquere Books)
Publication Date & Length: October 21, 2015 – 50,000 Words

Synopsis

Julian Pham is surviving high school. Openly gay, flamboyantly goth, and Vietnamese-American, he’s just about as different as his Oklahoma City high school can tolerate. He has good friends and a supportive family, which helps, but lately his family is changing and his friends have troubles of their own. Julian is afraid he’s being left behind.

Then he meets Duncan. The star of the school basketball team, Duncan has never crossed Julian’s social path. A fateful encounter one cold night brings the two young men together, igniting a romance that neither of them expected, and that both can scarcely believe.

But Julian and Duncan are in different places. Julian is happily out, unconcerned with others’ opinions. And Duncan, while he knows who he is, isn’t ready to face the challenges of living out loud. Even as the two grow closer together, Julian begins to question whether he can live with Duncan’s desire for secrecy. And even if he can, does that mean he should?

When the crisis of their romance leads to a shocking betrayal, Julian must decide if he will fix this love or tear it apart.

Review

FourStars

Tearing Us Apart by Amanda Clay is a short and sweet book about first love. It’s the classic YA problem novel–Julian Pham is dealing with his crush while not dealing with his mom’s impending marriage. He’s likeably queer. Into fashion and make-up, into wit and charm. What I love about Julian is that he’s never cast as “other.” He’s never “different.” He has unique qualities, yes, he’s a minority, yes, but he’s integrated into his surroundings. He owns his purpose. He’s got good friends with problems of their own. Everyone’s eclectic, no one’s “weird.”
His paramour, Duncan, is also more likeable than stereotypical in his own gay exploration. There are moments of joy and romance, there are moments of heartbreak and growing up. Tearing Us Apart squeezes high school tropes so tightly that they transform into something refreshing.
I read this in a night, which is not a criticism. It was a fun, fast journey, neither bogged down in angst nor unrealistically perfect. I think people already into m/m YA will love it and people who are new to the genre will find it a satisfying read. For a good time, call Julian Pham.
C.E. Case

Excerpt

“So,” I say casually, “Have you been down here before?”

“I’ve never been in there!” He’s practically shouting. “I’ve never been any place like that.”

This outburst earns a little frown from me. “So, by ‘that’ I assume you mean a gay club. But I have to ask, just how can the interior of a homosexual establishment be sleazier than hanging out in the alley behind one?”

He doesn’t answer right away, is silent with his jaw clenched long enough for me to brace for a kick in the ribs. But when he speaks, his voice is a defeated whisper.

“I’ve driven down the street a few times. Once I parked but I couldn’t get out of my car.”

I nod, give him a little smile, trying to keep it all light and bubbly despite the shock, amusement, desire, and more shock all swirling around in my head. “Well, you made it out tonight, Duncan Fisher, so that’s a celebration right there. Shall we go into the Wreck together? Maybe dance a step or two?”

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AuthorBio

A reader since the age of two, Amanda Clay realized early on that the best way to get all the stories she wanted was to write some herself. Setting off on this path she took some detours through teacherhood and librarianship before finally settling down with a fabulous kid and a leafy place in which to do serious work. She still reads everything she can get her hands on, and encourages you to do the same.

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Filed under 4 Star, C. E. Case, M/M, New Release, Review

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