Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Thank you, Jack, for taking the time to review my novel! Go to his blog because he is a great lover of books. Mahalo nui loa!
Genre: LGBT, Coming-of-age, Young Adult, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5 / 5

“Despite the grounded daily activity of milking the herd . . . Ryan knew something terrible was about to happen.”
Ryan has been having visions. They come to him at random intervals, showing him suicide and murder. Will those visions save the man he loves?
Ryan Colton’s boredom of Wilson’s Ferry is shoved aside when he gets a vision of a murder of a high school peer. With the help of city boy, Skylar, he discovers how to control his visions in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the murder. While Ryan is in Boston, he comes to terms with his sexuality, embracing his identity for the first time.
I’ve not read LGBT fiction before. I’ll be honest, I was expecting to read explicit material – limbs akimbo and private parts waving. I breathed a sigh of relief when this was not the case. The characters’ orientation was not central to the story; it could have been taken out and the narrative would have stood by itself. This is what good LGBT fiction should be. A story about people who also happen to be gay. As a gay man myself, the book felt very authentic in its dealing with the issue of ‘coming out’ and handled the feelings of a person accepting themselves very well. This coming-of-age story has a well thought-out plot that threads everything together smoothly and the descriptions of small town life is clear, without unnecessary embellishment.
The writing is superb. There were a few lines that felt a little messy, such as “He grabbed his own books under his right arm and left.” It’s clear what was meant but the two directions did distract me from the natural rhythm – momentum – that was nicely built up throughout the story.
The characters were relatable and felt very authentic. If I was to sum the book up in a single word it would actually be ‘authentic’. There was no extravagant event included for the sake of entertainment. It was a real story about real people.
The Promise of Living is a book I wanted to read. Whenever I had to be somewhere, I wanted to take it with me. I needed to know what happened next. If you’re looking for your next read, here it is!
“I love you, Ryan. I’ll always remember the blond trombone player in the farmer t-shirts and the red John Deere cap.”
I was kindly gifted a Kindle version of this book, by the author, in return for an honest review. Thank you very much to J. Lee Graham.

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