Saturday 16 April 2016

Review Time! - Growing Up by Tricia Sol

Growing Up Tricia SolTitle: Growing Up

Author: Tricia Sol

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult/NA, LGBTQ+, Romance (m/m,) Short Story/Novella

Release Date: 13 April 2016

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publishers, Less Than Three Press, via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

Something about this one caught my eye - I don't know why.

I guess I was interested in where the premise was headed, and whether the author would be able to pull it off without it going wrong somewhere along the lines.

So I requested it for review, and was happy to have my request accepted by the ever interesting Less Than Three Press.

It's quite short: about 74 pages, depending on what e-reader you're using.

And I read it in a day (partly because I wanted to know what happened, dammit!)

This book is in ebook format only.


Kelly is back in his hometown, Glenn.

Although it's just a few hours away from his college, he tries not to go back too often - not least because no-one back home knows he's gay.

And then he runs into his former high-school teacher - Mr Bastion.

Except he wants Kelly to call him Luke now. And Kelly has had a crush on him since forever.

But Mr Bastion - Luke - he couldn't be interested in Kelly at all, could he?

Best bits:

Sol got this oh-so-right where it could've gone oh-so-wrong. Kelly is an awesome character - you 100% feel for him, and feel with him.

The awkward moments? The tension? The worry over his unaccepting family? You can totally feel the emotion in those paragraphs.

And those moments are where Sol truly excels - those moments are real.

I also liked the way this was a book about a guy who falls in love - not a book about love and sex that happened to have characters in it.

Kelly has a life outside of Luke - and there's a real sense of him trying to find his way in the world as an individual.

The love-scene is no less steamy for all that (fans self profusely,) but it's sex with real love and intimacy, not just porn for the sake of porn.

The balance of love, everyday life, character, etc. is pretty spot-on. It doesn't get overly-gooey, or overly-trashy. Which is great - and shows a potential for thoughtful plots on the part of Sol.

And the writing? Sol is a debut author, but she clearly has some talent. And I hope she keeps writing.

Not so great bits:

There is explicit sex here. Which isn't going to be to everyone's taste, no matter how well it's done.

There's also some swearing - again, not for everyone.

And there's some domestic violence and threats of sexual violence which may be distressing to some people. I personally, though, thought the subject was handled quite well.

The writing does get clumsy in places. Overall it's fine... but there are moments when it clunks instead of chimes.

Not the end of the world, but it's slightly jarring when you're reading.

I also felt like some places were a bit sketchy on detail. Some points could've been expanded and explored more.

We really could've done with Sol zooming in on the detail - the emotional detail, rather than buttons and carpets - particularly in terms of Kelly's ex, who sometimes feels more like a plot device than a flesh-and-blood character.

And if Kelly could stop going on about how inexperienced in love/sex he is at 21, that would be great.

21 is not old. Sex is not the meaning of life. Get over it.


This could've gone so wrong - it could've come across creepy, or over-sentimental, or overly-trashy.

Instead we have a story with heart and complex characters that I really enjoyed, and managed to give real moments of emotion and the complexities of life.

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  1. Seems like an interesting premise! I'm not really al, that into explicit sex, believe it or not it shows up quite often in YA, but maybe when I make the transition into NA I'll give it a go. Great review Cee!

    1. It's only actually the one sex scene - everything else isn't all that explicit. But it's still... (fans self) yeah... I'm not going to encourage a teenager to read explicit sex-scenes. It's probably skip-able though.

      And thank you very much :)


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