I really wanted to like this. It just made me so mad. I couldn't feel sympathy for any of the characters but Bodi. Unfortunately I am not really in th...moreI really wanted to like this. It just made me so mad. I couldn't feel sympathy for any of the characters but Bodi. Unfortunately I am not really in the mood to write a review (still angry!) right now. Hopefully it will pass. (less)
Very sweet story of first love. Too bad he is no longer writing, he could give Amy Lane a run for her money in the angst department. It's the most ang...moreVery sweet story of first love. Too bad he is no longer writing, he could give Amy Lane a run for her money in the angst department. It's the most angst filled book I've read since Keeping Promise Rock. If you liked that one you will probably love this...(less)
This book begins where 'Little Boy Lost: Vanished' left off but it is Jamie's voice that takes over. The first three books were written from Brian's perspective and I think it was a wise choice to present Jamie's experiences and perspective to the continuation of the story.
The series follows Brian and Jamie through the sweet, tender longing of first love (book 1: Enlightened) and becomes progressively darker as the story continues. At this point I am so invested in their story there is no way I can turn back. The writing keeps improving as the young lovers grow into manhood and face the challenges that threaten them through prejudice, abandonment, and into the seedy side of life on the streets and porn industry in California.
Little Boy Lost:Enlightened takes place in a small Alabama town where fundamentalist religion makes up the fabric of everyday life. As someone originally from the deep south who still has family there, I can attest to this reality. While a lot has changed for the better regarding race relations in my old hometown, homosexuality is still considered a choice deemed unnatural and against God's word by many. I have several family members and childhood friends who committed suicide due to the rejection of families, neighbors and community. In cases where there is a gay person who attends a family function it is commonly 'known' but something that is just 'not talked about' as my mother has explained to me about the attitudes of devout Southern Baptist relatives regarding their gay or lesbian offspring.
I feel that beginning this story in such a setting adds a realism to the story and leads to an understanding of how Jamie is led into a world of abuse and as a result addiction to cope with his bleak and hopeless existence.
I have read of many mothers' who were condemned (rightly so)as having rejected their gay children in m/m literature, but to me Jamie's mother is the most despicable of all. This is a woman who turned to religion as gratitude for having saved her unborn son (Jamie) from a potentially fatal accident but then goes on to punish and reject this son in a soul damaging manner in the name of her so called 'religious' beliefs...
"The night she told me about the Center, with my father staring studiously at the blank tabletop, I finally understood that she cared more about God than she did about me. The realization was sobering. When I told her there was nothing wrong about my love for Brian that I needed or wanted to cure, she just smiled. It seemed that she had passed the point of slapping the sin from me".
Jamie's mother's cruelty and his father's inaction sets the stage for the tragedy that becomes his life. It is only in the end of book 3 (Vanished) which immediately continues into this one that we learn the extent of Jamie's suffering. In book #1 I believed that 'Little Boy Lost' referred to Brian who not only suffered tragedy as a child but also violence and bigotry in book 2 (Abandoned). I am now convinced however, that the true 'Little Boy Lost' of the series is in fact Jamie. To me Jamie's circumstances seem authentic. There are countless teenagers who turn to drugs and sex as a way to survive. To me Jamie's story is both heartbreaking and real. Where before he seemed almost almost this ideal image as seen through Brian's eyes, Discovered breathes life and depth to Jamie which is achieved in one book more completely than the previous 3 were able to achieve with Brian. Together however, they make a provocative reading experience.
Even the tone of this book feels different to me. Where Brian's 'voice' has a certain naivety even through his decadent period in Vanished, Jamie's 'voice' immediately hit me as desolate and hopeless, even upon seeing his true love for the first time after several years apart. I can honestly say that this is the first m/m novel that had me wracked with tears. Without this book the 'Little Boy Lost' series would be disjointed and incomplete. There may be some who have stopped reading this series because of books 1-3 one-sided perspective. To those who have given up, I say please don't, this book rescues it from that fate. I do feel this series needs to be read from the beginning. You will understand the tenderness and depth of love between these two boys by doing so.
I will not lie and say this book ends with a HEA it doesn't. If anything it seems that book 5 (Escaped) may be as dark or darker than Discovered. This makes me want to stick with the story in hopes that eventually they will find it.
I would like to see in the future both voices 'joined' in one book (even if only in book 6). Both Vanished and Discovered have ended in breathtaking cliff-hangers and there is a part of me that dearly wants to be put out of my misery. In this case it seems the adage "the course of true love never runs smooth" definitely applies. However, I have lost my heart to Jamie and Brian and in my case it is definitely worth the journey.
This was such a tender and touching love story. Eli is a boy who has been neglected and left to fend for himself and has lost...moreAdded Paragraph 11/10/11
This was such a tender and touching love story. Eli is a boy who has been neglected and left to fend for himself and has lost the ability to trust the world. As a result he lashes out to anyone who tries to get close but when he meets Sebastian he finds it is not so easy to do.
Sebastian has grown up in a world of good friends and family. Intelligent and social he has certain expectations of his life and the last thing he expects is to have his life turned upside down when Eli enters it.
This relationship is unexpected but none the less beautiful. I love the way both young men seem to add something to each other that has been missing. Eli finds a person who deeply cares about him for himself which turns to true love for both of them. Sebastian, on the other hand finds someone who he can care for, but not pity.
I love how the relationship slowly develops (over a week) but at least it's not insta-love!)where they meet and then boom! We're in love on the same day. Both characters are completely developed and are not just caricatures of teenage/young adult boys.
The only part of the story that didn't ring true to me was the abrupt resolution between Eli and his mother. Years of neglect can not be healed through one conversation which have left evident scars on the young boy's psyche. Especially since it is obvious that her treatment is at the root of his deep emotional scars.
Eli's story is so heartbreaking I found myself wanting to cry several times. Yet he also has a resilience and inner goodness that allows him to open up when he finds the one he can truly trust. I am really grateful to have found this lovely story. I think Eli and Sebastian will stay with me for a long time.