Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
When his mother goes out to party one Saturday night and doesn’t come back, seven-year-old Ishmael Hood is taken in by his estranged uncle Henry and Henry’s live-in boyfriend, Sam. As this unlikely trio begins to build a new life together, they encounter both support and hostility in the small Mississippi town where they live. Seems like just about everybody has an opinion on the matter—and they’re not shy about expressing it.
While this blossoming little family finds its feet, outside forces—and ghosts from the past—threaten to tear it apart. Henry, still trying to deal with the tragic death of his parents, finds himself hard-pressed to open his heart to this needy child.
Just as a little shine begins to come back into their lives, Ishmael’s mother returns, and their world is thrown into chaos.
Nick Wilgus is one of my favorite authors, I have a soft spot for his Sugar Tree series, so every time I know he’s releasing a new book, I start to hyperventilate. Even if his books are not the usual m/m books I read, most of all even if his writing is hard to read for me, I’ve learned to simply love them and wish for more and more of his characters.
Get Your Shine On was another winner to me. I didn’t read the blurb because I didn’t care what it was about, I just cared that it was out. I wasn’t expecting this kind of story, so much (sometimes too much) emotional for me and I wasn’t ready for it. Especially halfway through it when we get some heavy angst. I so hoped, until the end, that it wasn’t like I suspected to be and when my suspicions became reality they were hard to take; the central part was melting, I had to stop a couple of times.
The style and the language are the ones we used to find in the Sugar Tree series so if you liked that books you absolutely can’t miss this new one. I enjoy Nick Wilgus’ writing so much especially because he talks about children, the not so lucky ones, the same ones that break my heart in almost every scene I read. He writes so beautifully about imperfect characters, in fact there is no one perfect character in all of his books. For example at the start of Get Your Shine On I despised Henry, the MC, so much. I didn’t like how he approached his nephew Ishy, he didn’t get the boy at all and often he was too hard to the little one to my liking. But Wilgus is great at creating well developed characters, some of them will grow in the book and become better people, for other character there will be no hope sadly. Each one of them is well portrayed, from the details, to their background.
What I appreciate the most (cause it’s real) but at the same time I can understand it could be not easy to accept, is a specific quality of this author, so present in this book too. His books are full of crap, the MCs usually have to take it from everyone. There are a lot of homophobic people, too many times the word pedophile is said and it is just one of the nasty things that flew in the books. It’s a trait of his writing that can leave the reader puzzled the first time but later will be understood as the true way to show us a world that truly exists. Moreover the icing on the cake is that all of this is surrounded by a ton of laughter. There are so many funny scenes that balanced the angsty and heavy and sad parts.
As you can see I haven’t talked about blurb, plot or characters, it will be your pleasure to discover them, I’m sure. I just want to mention my favorite character (apart from the little Ishy that filled my heart every time he smiled), because she deserves it. She is Sister Ascension. She was the best, so fierce in her wanting to help Hen and his new family. Religion and I have a tough relationship and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the author for giving me a nun as the most positive person in this book.
I want to recommend Get Your Shine On cause it was emotional, funny, too many times really over the top. I can’t have enough of Wilgus’ works.
Cover art by AngstyG. It’s not my favorite by this artist. Not a bad cover at all but not so eye catching. I like it but nothing more. But at the end you could have give me a blank cover for this book, I wouldn’t have cared.
ebook 350 pages
Published July 24th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English