I picked this book up about a year ago because I was missing Hawaii - I spent several years there and I still miss it. I had heard the book was set there and did a good job of the local side of Hawaii. It's also a coming-of-age gay fiction, which I also enjoy, so I picked it up. It worked it way and around my shelves over the past year and I finally found it and read it this weekend.
I kind of have a mixed review of this book. The ending was WAY too abrupt. You are left sitting there flipping the page wondering if some fell out. I sat there myself thinking "And...?? So...??" Hurmph! I hate books that end so quickly like that. This book deserved a WAY better ending. I was severely disappointed in that.
The story itself was pretty decent. I'm a straight 30-something female, so I of course wanted to strangle the "kids" a few times. "Dude, it won't matter in 5 years, trust me! Move on!" The main character's dialogue, while overly simplistic and riddled with curse words, was well done. I liked watching Sam develop, I also like that he didn't have this big "out" thing. He was gay, he really didn't care who knew, but he didn't go around waving the rainbow flag either. It just was. His character rang true for me. Clay and his mom, well, whatever...
I did get irritated a few times. This book could have used a really good editor. There are several points where the text loses itself. For instance, the author writes that Sam climbed down a rock and not 2 sentences later he's back up on the rock. Huh?
BUT... I have no idea if the author has lived on O'ahu or not, but that part. That part rang true. Very true. He did an awesome job of bringing me back there, having a plate lunch and driving up the Pali and H1. Congrats to the author in that respect. Not many can make me read a book and feel like I've actually been IN the Hawaii I knew, not just some tourist trap.
It's a nice gay coming of age story with a bit of a twist. It's not your typical boy discover feeling for boy falls in love with boy and live happily ever after. Its the ultimate struggle for what you want but cannot allow yourself to have because you are a teen and you are gay.
Although this is a very good book, it has its problems. For one thing, it is poorly edited. It is choppy and parts of it could have been done better. Still it is an interesting and moving (gay) coming of age story. All in all, I liked it.