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Just Between Us

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,185 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Luke Chesser is trying to forget his spectacular failure of a love life. He practices marching band moves for hours in the hot Texas sun, deals with his disapproving father, and slyly checks out the new band field tech, Curtis Cameron. Before long, Luke is falling harder than he knew he could. And this time, he intends to play it right.

Since testing posi
Paperback, 308 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Kensington
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,185 ratings  ·  184 reviews

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David James
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As with any J.H. Trumble novel, I lost myself as Just Between Us began and found myself in the end. Just Between Us is powerful, and not only because of its subject matter. Trumble is a master at creating characters and subtle movements between them that connect the dots of their hearts. Truly, Just Between Us is a story between its characters. Each one has a story, a purpose. There is fear and avoidance. Loathing and understanding. Hatred and respect. And the beautiful thing about this book is ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my god. You now how you read a book and it hits you so hard you just have to sit there for awhile? That's how this one was. I will write a review as soon as I recover.

Just Between Us is J.H. Trumble’s third novel. It re-acquaints us with Luke Chesser, who we met in her first novel Don’t Let Me Go. So many times I have loved a book by a new author desperately. I have awaited the next book and the next with heretofore unknown levels of anticipation only to be heartbroken by the disappointment w
DNF at 35%.

It was my fault. Again. I was in the mood for a sweet YA story, but I picked up the wrong book. I was blinded by the high rating and didn't care about reading a blurb first. As the story had taken a strange twist, I decided to read the blurb. Oh, a drama, okay, well, I'll give it a try. It were my thoughts after.
But the plot kept on moving further in the wrong direction.
Is Curtis supposed to be a nice guy next door or a victim or just an idiot? He is for sure a drama's focus.
You kn
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
"I don’t want this, Luke,” he whispers into my neck. “But I can’t make it go away. Nobody can make it go away.”

I don`t think I ever have read such a powerfull book with such a strong message! This is the book I have been wanting to read. An extremely well written book about an actual problem. No corny boy meets girl-girl-meets boy-boy and girl falls in love-boy and girls gets married-boy and girl lives happily ever after- crap, this book deals with a serious and sensative subject matter. And it
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a light and fluffy read, this ain’t it. But, if you’re looking for a powerful story with amazing characters dealing with a difficult subject matter, I highly recommend Just Between Us. I loved it!!!

J.H. Trumble is a “new to me” author. I was trying to catch up on some of the books that appeared on the several of the “M/M Best of 2013” lists and stumbled upon this one. I love YA and coming of age, so I decided to give it a go. From what I understand, it is a standalone read,
Kaje Harper
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, intense, ya
A very well-done novel about Curtis, a young gay college student, and Luke, the high-school 17-year-old he is interested in, as they come to grips with the fact that Curtis has tested positive for HIV. This was very realistically done, avoiding both melodrama and excessive simplicity. The reactions of all the characters, from the gay guys, to their parents, siblings and friends, were really well portrayed. The resolution was positive, but plausible, and the journey there had some twists.

This is
Just Between Us tells the story of Luke Chesser, a high school junior who's fallen out love one too many times, and Curtis Cameron, a college student who works as a field tech after a wild first year of college. Luke acts cautiously around Curtis at first, but when he finds himself falling for the older guy, his feelings complicate everything - especially his already strained relationship with his father. Curtis has never dealt with too much hardship before testing positive for HIV; now, he must ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
J.H. Trumble has fast become my favorite author and Just Between Us is another wonderful, touching, coming of age story that explores the difficulty of love between adolescent men - this time, when HIV rears its ugly head. The tale continues the saga of Luke Chesser, the geekily-endearing third wheel from Trumble's first novel, Don't Let Me Go. Now a junior in high school, Luke meets Curtis, a high school band field tech, home after a disappointing and unfettered first year at UT. Their growing ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Luke Chesser gets his own book. I have to admit, I wasn't quite sure what to think about that when I found out that J.H. Trumble was getting set to publish this novel, but given how much I loved the previous book in which Luke first appeared (Don't Let Me Go) and knowing how that book ended, I knew I wouldn't be able to stay away.

Since the events of Don't Let Me Go, Luke has grown up quite a bit. He's standing up for himself, he's letting his natural leadership qualities emerge, and he's approac
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
This book is related to her other book, right? Isn't the MC from Don't Let Me Go?
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. If you're not reading this author, you need to start.
Why are you doing this Curtis?

But I know why. I can't help myself. I can't let him go. I'm as bound to him as the moon to the earth. He keeps me in orbit; and maybe I do the same for him.

Since when the last time I really cried over a book? Few days ago? Weeks ago? But honestly this story did a great job to get all the freaking emotions out of me. I smiled so wide like a psycho killer clown waiting for the next victim. And I cried silently crawling on my bed that hurt my throat.

A very compellin
☆ Todd
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, yet another really good read from Trumble.

I read "Don't Let Me Go" two years ago, but as Goodreads didn't show "Just Between Us" as being related, I only just realized that Luke was in both books.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Luke and Curtis become friends, then somewhat more than friends, but less than either of them truly wanted.

Their journey to finally become the 'more' that they dreamed of was full of angst as they dealt with a very serious life complication that most YA characters neve
pts: 1.5

I want to prime this review by being very honest. Not only am I going to slaughter this book, but this review will also have MAJOR spoilers, for both this one, as well as its predecessor, Don’t Let Me Go (read this. it's good. the PTSD portions are almost spot on!). With that said, I strongly encourage you to read Don’t Let Me Go (loved it) , and then stop, or, if you must, library it.

On with it…

We know Luke from his previous appearance in DLMG. He was a meddler in Nate and Adam’s
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
JH Trumble, I am at a loss for words.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Why do I have this oh so annoying penchant for reading books that are written so well that they rip my heart out & stomp on it? Just Between Us was another of the same. It was not one that I could just sit & read through in one sitting. The intensity of the plot made me read this in several sessions because I would have to put it down to contemplate what just happened, what has happened, and how it will all tie in eventually to the conclusion. Luke & Curtis as a couple looked to be a ...more
BookChic Club
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved Trumble's debut (and I have a blurb from that review listed in this book and her previous one, Where You Are, under GuysLitWire) and was excited to be a part of this blog tour so I could fit reading this into my schedule. So many books, so little time! I still haven't gotten around to reading her second book, Where You Are.

To start off, I'd like to say that if you haven't read any of Trumble's books yet, read them in order. They're all separate stories, but there are characte
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just Between Us is the third book by J.H. Trumble that I have read in the past seven months and just like her first two she has scored another clear winner with this one. Since my own book deals with a young gay man in his late teens, I have sought to read books with a similar theme in hopes of learning from others what for me at least works and what does not. It was this mindset that led me to read her first novel Don’t Let Me Go. Having enjoyed that so much I then read Where You Are which I en ...more
This was my third book by J.H. Trumble, and her writing style and stories continue to dazzle. Trumble isn't afraid to tackle the tough stuff (affair with a teacher, anyone?), and she does it again expertly with this novel about two young guys, a budding love affair and HIV.

The MCs in Just Between Us are Luke and Curtis. You might remember Luke as the harlot antagonist from Don’t Let Me Go. (You might also infer from my use of the word harlot that I didn't much like Luke when I started Just Betw
Jamie Deacon
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
J.H. Trumble isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects, as anyone familiar with her work will know, and this latest novel is no exception. We’ve all made mistakes, done or said things we wish we could go back and change. More often than not, we’re given the chance to learn from our mistakes and move on, but for one of the heroes in ‘Just Between Us’, it isn’t so simple. A few months of recklessness ends up jeopardizing everything he values—his college education, the boy he loves, even his life.

Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I've seen some AWESOME reviews for this book, so I'm going to go ahead and put in my own official review for this book.

Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble is the book that I was desperately waiting for.
Luke Chesser, the secondary character in 'Don't Let Me Go' is now in the spotlight in Trumble's third novel. He's back in the same town, but a new school.
Curtis is in college and the assistant director at the high school. At first, he sees Luke as a clumsy, but lovable kid, but as he gets to
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-edited
Another great book wrapped around a tough, timely topic. (I'm not going to spoil it for you!)
But even if you hated Luke in DON'T LET ME GO, you should still give this a shot.
Roger Hyttinen
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-romance, lgbt
Awhile back, I wrote a review of J.H. Trumble’s book “Don’t Let Me Go” during which I expressed how much I loved that book. I was delighted to see that the Goodread’s Young Adult LGBT fiction group featured another of her books, Just Between Us” for February’s read – not that I needed an excuse to read another of this wonderful author’s books.

Luke is Back!

I was pleased to see a familiar face – seventeen year old Luke Chesser, who served as a secondary character in Don’t Let Me Go. This time, he
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm finally allowing myself to write a review of this lovely story.

There are many good, enjoyable books out there; some of them you miss after the fact; however, the ones that grip you and stay with you long after seem far and few between. This book definitely belongs in that category.

To be honest, the first thing that jumped out at me with this book was the cover. I found it by accident under my Young Adult recs and I am so happy I did. Of course once I saw who the author was I was completely o
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Read Mr Trumble's novel "Don't let me go" (you have to read it) a few weeks ago and loved this book so much that I had to order "Just between us" before I was half way through in case I was left without this authors work to love and lose myself in. Finished it last night at about 01:00 a.m despite fighting tiredness to do so, and it certainly never disappointed me either.

So what can I say about this book? Mr Trumbles writing style is in my opinion one of extraordinary talent. Not only does he gu
Chaise Carter
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, ya-lit, lgbt
If you want a light-hearted, feel good book, this isn't the one for you. This book is one that makes you feel the characters pain, sorrow, anger, and mixed emotions. Trumble really steps up to the plate and delivers on a story that isn't just about a boy falling for another boy, but about deeper issues that unfortunately plague much of the gay community today. Whether it be HIV specifically, or the unknown, bad stigma that is attached to the virus, she shapes these characters in a way that displ ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I loved Luke in Nate's story, and I was glad to get my hands on the missing piece of his life and how he went from recently-outed and broken-hearted to the confident and love struck adult we see in the epilogue of nate's book. We know how Luke's dad reacted to the news of his son's sexuality, but what happens when Luke and his family move to a new town? I've learned that JH is great at creating these characters that are acting/reacting in such a way that is so true to who they are, do ...more
michaela ⚘
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"But I know why. I can't help myself. I can't let him go. I'm as bound to him as the moon is to the earth. He keeps me in orbit; and maybe I do the same for him."

I'm utterly speechless. I just finished this absolutely breathtaking read in just a couple hours and after quickly jotting down some of my favorite lines from the book and recommending it to some of my closest friends, I scrambled from my laptop and quickly went to write this review. Needless to say 'Just Between Us' has became one of m
Adriano Giri
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't find words to describe how beautiful this novel is!! An accurate apporach would be to state that I literally devoured it in 2 days!! Curtis and Luke's love story is so sweet, tender, and passionate, that it got my eyes swimming quite a few times. This is a novel that naturally shows all the "normal" reactions that people could get when finding out that someone they know has contracted HIV. All the characters are more than likable, and they all help Curtis to fully cope with his disease. ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Powerful. Well written. An amazing story about a scary subject. I don't know anyone personally dealing with this, so I can't pretend to know what any of the people who do deal with go through. The individual, their family, friends, and possible partners. All I can really say on this subject, is I remember how I felt after seeing Princess Diana with people in this situation. I won't deny that the thought of this scares the bejeebers out of me, but I also still have hope, for all those afflicted, ...more
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YA LGBT Books: February 2014 BotM - Just Between Us *spoilers* 4 100 Feb 13, 2014 10:40AM  

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J.H. Trumble is a Texas native and graduate of Sam Houston State University. You can visit the author online at and on Facebook and Twitter.
“I can't help myself. I can't let him go. I'm as bound to him as the moon is to the earth. He keeps me in orbit; and maybe I do the same for him.” 3 likes
“HIV is not what defines me. You get that? It is not what defines me. I am not my disease. I am a human being. A guy” 2 likes
More quotes…