on October 13th 2011
Eighteen-year-old Jess Bonner is casting off pretense—and, with it, some friends from his past who aren’t particularly trustworthy. In just a few months he’ll be starting college, and it’s time for him to admit the truth: he’s gay, not bi, and only one of his childhood buddies holds any kind of real interest for him.
When Dylan Finch, aka Mig, follows his lead and puts some distance between himself and the old crowd, he and Jess give in to a mutual attraction that’s been building for years.
But navigating a fledgling relationship isn’t easy for beginners, and forces they can’t seem to control keep tripping them up: sexual appetite, personal insecurities, fear of discovery, and more.
They need clarity. They need courage. Just as they’re on the verge of finding both, a vindictive act of jealousy sends one of them to jail. All their hard-won victories are in danger of falling to dust. The only way to save what they have is to recognize it for what it is . . . and fight for its integrity.
The Zero Knot was certainly different from the types of books I normally read but I really enjoyed it.
Set in small-town America, it is the story of two friends Jess and Dylan (nicknamed Mig) coming to terms with the fact they are gay and that they also have feelings for each other. There is some angst involved (relating to coming out etc.) but overall the two protagonists are generally comfortable with the fact that they are gay.
What isn’t easy for either of them is trying to overcome the difficulties thrown at them which may just stop their burgeoning relationship in its tracks. Jess is soon going to be heading off to college whereas Mig has no plans to leave town. Neither of them are sure how well their families will take the news that they are gay and both also have to overcome their own hang-ups if their relationship is ever to have a real chance. There is also a jealous third party to contend with who might just succeed in tearing them apart for good.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but I ended up getting really caught up in the story. I liked both Jess and Mig, their struggles felt realistic and I was rooting for the pair of them. My favourite character had to be Red though (real name Jared but no one calls him that) – Jess’s younger brother. He was an endearingly snarky, bratty but at the same time perceptive and accepting character. I could stand to read a whole book about his exploits. The villain was a little one-dimensional but overall the characters were well fleshed-out.
Overall, a surprisingly sweet little coming-of-age tale (warning: this is not really a young adult book even though the main characters have just finished high school – there are sex scenes which can get a little graphic).
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