A MelanieM Review: To Be Honest (#lovehim #2) by S.M. James

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished.

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

Continuing that outstanding YA series #lovehim is To Be Honest (#lovehim #2) by S.M. James.  To be all fangyrl here, I heart them so much.

Angus Reid was mentioned in the first story, That Feeling When, as the only out person that  Archie Corrigan knew at the boarding school they both went too.  Angus is well liked,popular with every crowd and clique, masculine yet “gay” within Archie’s definitions at that time.  And it just added to Archie’s confusion.  Angus seemed to be everything Archie was not.  And  yes, Archie makes a couple of appearances here.

True to form and the writing of this amazing author, we find out that what you see is not what is laying deep underneath the surface.  Especially with teenagers.

I have never been much for YA stories until the last couple of years or so then a splendid number of just beautifully written coming of age, coming out stories brought me firmly back to this genre.  It takes such skill to bring out the hormonal, on the edge of….something…, the need to be more, to know more, part bravery, part fear and ignorance…it’s such a trying time to be a young human.  Being LGBT even more so. What a road of self discovery lies ahead.  S.M. James has proven themselves a master at giving their readers  deeply layered characters at that crucial stage of development and then pushing them off onto the path or in this case road of self discovery and love.

Angus and friend/roommate, Tyler, are poised on the brink of changes in their lives as their junior year is ending and summer approaches.  Angus will be moving into his own room at school as a senior, leaving Tyler behind, a profound change in their relationship neither has addressed.  Angus’ other bbf has broken up with her boyfriend again, seemingly for the last time, although Angus has his doubts.  And the person he has been chatting with online and wants to meet, won’t commit to meeting him.  Everything is topsy turvey….emotionally and mentally.

The story rolls out through the points of view of Angus,  as well as the texts between himself and Scotty, his online infatuation/love.

James makes Angus and Tyler so real, along with everything each of them is going through personally.  I felt as though I knew them both.  And that road trip that they take (the Maryland Hospitality House I can vouch for) turns out to be not only  a moving journey of self discovery but a great sightseeing tour of several states and locations.  Trust me I will never think of envelopes of dirt without wanting to add a sniffle or two.  The journey ends up profoundly changing both Angus, Tyler, and the readers.

The question of course as to who Scotty is will be quickly answered by most of you.  No, it was how everything was going to play out, what was going to be the overall picture here. What happens, not only to Angus and Tyler but to several others in the picture as well.

S.M. James pulls you into life at this school and the young people living there.  It’s the Community  Boards that pop up and the people that use them.  It’s the entire universe this author is creating and then populating that has me addicted.

I still have a couple of books to go.  But those that i have read?  I highly recommend them all.  They are moving, gorgeously written, and tremendous characters and great plots. Pick them all up today.

Cover art is amazing.  Bright and perfect down to the sneakers propped up on the dashboard as the car goes down the road.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published November 15th 2018 by May Books
Edition Language English
Series #lovehim #2

That Feeling When

No Big Deal

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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