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Here's to You, Zeb Pike

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  304 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.

That's the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn't long before social services figures out that Dusty's parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off
Paperback, 180 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Harmony Ink Press (first published March 20th 2012)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  304 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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You know when you see a cover and then you read a blurb and you get that feeling? That feeling that says, “I’ve found something special”…This book gave me that feeling, and it was completely what I expected. More even. Well written, engaging, moving, funny, emotionally clever, endearing and with strong lessons about life. This is the kind of Young Adult story that really adds value to a young person’s perpective, makes them see the world a little differently. And for grown ups like me, well, it’ ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, ya
There are many YA books that I’ve enjoyed immensely. Gives Light by Rose Christo and Silent by Sara Alva come to mind. But I must say, this book felt much younger than most of the YA I’ve read, mostly because of the simplicity of the the story line. Dusty, the protag is 14, but if this book had had more swords and/or talking animals I wouldn’t have had a problem reading it to my 9 year old, it felt that young. As it is he would find it very boring, and I am pretty sure my 13 year old would too. ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I only read YA books with LGBT themes, and 35% into Joanna Parkhurst's "Here's to you Zeb Pike," I was wondering if the friend who recommended this to me had misunderstood something. Because Dustin Porter, the wounded, brave heroic adolescent at the center of this story, has more than enough to deal with in his young life without focusing on his emerging sexual awareness, and his story had already captured me, hook, line and sinker.

Then the other shoe dropped. And I was very glad.

Parkhurst mana
Michael Thompson
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know! I know! Why am I just now reading this great YA coming of age story? Since this is my favorite genre and I try to read all of these books I can get my hands on.
That's just it, there's been a flood of good books out there and since I've heard great things about this book I knew I would want the paperback to add to my collection. So I waited for the right time to read this one. I kept putting it off and then I find out the sequel , Thanks A Lot, John LeClair, is being released December 15!
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! It's the story of an incredibly resilient and brave fourteen year-old boy adjusting to no longer having the responsibility for his much younger brother and sister when they are all taken in by their uncle and aunt. There's also a little bit of romance. Recommended!
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Previously seen at

I have to state right away that I loved this book and read it straight off, in one sitting, I also have to say that it is more YA than M/M. It is a YA story whose main character happens to be gay rather than an M/M book that happens to be YA - and I would recommend it to everyone but most specially those readers that are actually Young Adults.

This story was both sad and hopeful, and right from the beginning I was on Dusty's side. Life has been hard for Dusty, his parents a
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Luvvvv...luvvvvv this book.
Honestly for a book YA story with LGBT characters, this book not quite exploring that LGBT thing, how that LGBT charas deals with his new found sexuality and so and so, but the story indeed more about family relationship. And this story about family really moved me, make me teary just by remembering it.

The story was about Dustin Porter or Dusty, 14 nearly 15 yo. He's been taking care his younger brother & sister since he was like...ten. His father left them, his mo
Phoebe Gee
Loved this story! The first person perspective felt like a 14 year old boy to me, and not like an adult thinking through a young adult's situation. It frustrates me to read a YA novel and find the thought process of the main character to be more mature than mys own(40+ years old)! I do enjoy reading the occasional YA LGBT story for my own entertainment, but I mainly read them to pass on to my 16yr old son. He is struggling in his search of self, so it is especially important that the story reads ...more
Lorraine Lesar
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I believe this is my first real venture into the YA market - I won this book in the celebratory Boymeetsboy First Anniversary Give Away - and entered into this unknown world with trepidation and high optimism all mixed up together, what I didn't expect was that my heart would be stretched to breaking point and then mended, all within approx. 150 pages - I may never recover! I started reading this pretty late in the evening, expecting to read a few pages and then go to bed. The reality was howeve ...more
Mrs. Schonour
This book had me hooked from the beginning, which is sure to happen with young adult readers! This well-written novel has believable and interesting characters that are sure to interest readers. The author does a great job getting into the head of a high school boy. It is clear Parkhurst has lived in both Colorado Springs and Vermont, as her settings are very accurate. The historical aspect adds a fun twist and provides even more intrigue. I want to know more about Zeb Pike after reading this bo ...more
Michael Bowler
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book that straddles a fine line between social commentary and entertainment, and succeeds at both. Dusty is a fourteen-year-old boy who lives in Colorado Springs with his younger brother and sister and essentially acts as their parent and caregiver. Why? Because Dusty’s parents are perfectly drawn examples of people who should never have had children in the first place and once they did, they made the youngsters’ lives miserable. It’s not because they’re evil people. On some ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this very insightful story of a young teen going through the upheavals in his young tender life. Dusty is such a marvelous protagonist and I love his very engaging and refreshing voice. His care for his kids sister and brother is simply heartwarming, his dealings with his parents heartbreaking. What I love about the plot is that the bad things have happened (we do get little snippets) and the story is about moving forward as these 3 wonderful kids find the 2 people who really love ...more
Jun 18, 2014 added it
Shelves: dnf, young-adult
Quit at 25%. Found the writing style simplistic and the characters like cardboard cutouts. For such an emotional subject, it felt flat & lifeless.
E. Summers
Here's to You, Zeb Pike is an excellent book. The title was intriguing and beckoned me in, but it was Dusty's voice and his story that kept me glued to my kindle form start to finish.

The basic points of the plot are revealed in the book blurb. Dusty Porter and his little brother and sister have been, in essence, abandoned by their parents, leaving Dusty to take care of himself and his siblings. Considering Dusty had to teach himself how to do everything, including laundry and budgeting whatever
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: t1
When I first read the blurb and some blog posts about this book, I had a feeling I would love it. And I was right!

I found "Here's to You, Zeb Pike" to be a moving, sometimes frustrating (in a good way), always engaging story. I especially enjoyed the POV/voice in which the story is told - that of 14-year-old Dusty who has been taking care of his younger brother and sister for years after his father leaves and his mother begins being absent for ever-increasing lengths of times. Dusty is smart, sw
Lisa The Novel Approach
This booked moved me a lot, and as an adult reader, I feel this book transcends the shackles of the YA labeling and provides something for every reader out there. It was written with humour, sensitivity and grace. It provided message after message of positive enforcement for its young readers and will inspire apathy for anyone in contact with a struggling teen. This book means a lot, not only to myself but to anyone who will pick it up. Much like Huston Piner’s seminal masterpiece My Life as a M ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: Which Way Did He Go, George?
Drinking Buddy: God, This Kid Needs to Kick Back With a Virgin Cocktail
Testosterone Level: Just Keep It on an Even Keel
Talky Talk: And They Lived Happily Ever After
Bonus Factors: LGBTQ, Zebulon Pike, 1779-1813, Foster Family
Bromance Status: That New Kid With the Backstory

Read the full book report here.
Chuck R
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. I'm not one to hope for a sequel, but I hope there's a sequel... I absolutely fell in love with every single character in this novel. Bravo Ms. Parkhurst on crafting such a beautiful story.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was pretty much hooked on Dusty's story from the first page. I loved that the characters, relationships and emotions felt real and this story has me in tears more than once. Even the adults were three dimensional, which I've found is rare in YA m/m books.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-male-male
This was a great story. Kept my interest the entire time. Dusty was a fantastic character.
This review also appears on my blog alexreadsboooks

Dusty Porter has been caring for his siblings for years when his sister Julia has to go to the hospital because of appendicitis and social services find out. Dusty, Matt and Julia get  shipped out to Vermont to live with their aunt and uncle they didn't know about, but that doesn't solve all of Dusty's problems. At school one hockey player instantly decides to hate Dusty, while another hockey player, Emmitt, is reason for Dusty to overthink
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, read-in-2018
“Kid, what you don’t realize is that you don’t have to control everything anymore. You think you do, but you don’t. You don’t have to be in charge, controlling everything now, because there’s somebody else there to help you when you get into stupid fights, somebody to wait up for you all night. You’re not going to fall off the edge anymore…. There’s a floor under you now when things go wrong.”

Sometimes the mountain peak is not the goal, it's the will to start climbing and to find courage to know
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wasn't impressed, the whole story seemed too rushed with the main character coming to his realisations all at once after a conversation with a stranger, other characters around him seemed to just be there to pad out the story before it got to this point. The plot was very predictable, the characters were two dimensional especially the 'couple' who seemed to be together simply because the author wanted the MC to be in a relationship despite them lacking any kind of chemistry or the prope ...more
Mary Mary
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars is not enough.
This story is amazing. i LOVED it from the first page till the last one.

it was so real and so sad how those kids were so lonely for so long it was heartbreaking. it is a really good thing I've already read book #2 because it was really difficult to read about Dusty's life. sure, he was doing just fine (in theory) but it was unfair for him to spend his life taking care of his siblings and worrying about everything.

i loved Dusty. i loved him for being such a wonderful,
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful story of teenage Dusty who is struggling to take care of his two younger siblings as his parents are mostly absent from their lives. When an emergency happens, his cover is blown and the authorities find out about his living situation. As things change, Dusty has trouble adjusting to his new life and his feelings for a new friend.

I quickly became sucked into this story and Dusty's challenges. Written for a teenage audience it is a coming-of-age story with just a hint of a rom
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, mm
A YA book that felt a bit younger than the usual one--more in terms of language and length rather than theme. It felt a little too simplistic for me.

However, I stayed engaged throughout the book. The focus here is not a MM one, the focus is Dustin's difficult journey from being a neglected youth who had to care for his younger siblings, to trusting adults once again.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
This was okay. It was cute at some times and reasonably compelling at others. Some of the writing was clunky or younger, perhaps, than its audience. Worthwhile but not phenomenal.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review Copy received from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed for Alpha Book Club by Cheryl.

I was glad to get my hands on this, seeing as it has been on my ‘want to read’ shelf for literally years - it did not disappoint.

At 14, Dusty spends most of his time raising his two younger siblings. Their father lives locally but they never see him and their mother disappears for weeks at a time, only showing up for short periods before taking off again. He has managed to hide the
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Zebulon Pike. The namesake of Pikes Peak. But he never made the summit. This had all the makings of a solid book with a coming of age tale embedded in the plot summary; I felt it was going to be poignant and moving. The main line centers around Dusty, a young teenager essentially raising his two younger siblings, Matt and Julia, because of his deadbeat parents' various reprehensible habits. Julia gets sick, Dusty has to take her to the hospital where, of course, an adult is needed and he asks hi ...more
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Harmony Ink Press: Here's to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst 2 11 Nov 15, 2013 10:10AM  
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  • The Decisions We Make
  • On the Right Track (Vocal Growth, #1)
  • Last of the Summer Tomatoes (Young Love's Journey #1)
  • Children of the Knight
  • Not Letting Go (Not Letting Go, #1)
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  • Play Me, I'm Yours
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  • The Battle for Jericho
  • Private Display of Affection
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Johanna Parkhurst grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Vermont before relocating to the rocky mountains of Colorado. Johanna taught middle and elementary school for fourteen years, and only once during that entire time did she ever have to rescue a sweatshirt from a ceiling fan. She strives to share stories of kids and young adults who are as determined, passionate, and complex as the ones sh ...more
“My life proves over and over again that discoveries don't matter at all; you have to conquer what life throws at you if you want to get anywhere in this world.” 0 likes
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