Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)” as Want to Read:
Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Off Campus

(Bend or Break #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  4,568 ratings  ·  735 reviews
Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why
ebook, 317 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Samhain Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Off Campus, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amy Cousins Sorry ! I just saw this. :) I've just turned in book three of the series and it's Cash & Steph's book. I'm still bouncing around with happiness becaus…moreSorry ! I just saw this. :) I've just turned in book three of the series and it's Cash & Steph's book. I'm still bouncing around with happiness because my editor loved it, and I'm feeling the same kind of happy glow while writing their book that I felt w/Off Campus, which isn't always how it goes with me. So, yes! The Girl Next Door comes out in June, after Nothing Like Paris in March. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,568 ratings  ·  735 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*4.5 stars*

I have a confession to make: I have a MAJOR kink for college boys.

Something about the college setting excites me to no end. Two guys living together, changing together, sleeping in the same room... it is just RIPE with possibilities! And the chances that a college story is a Gay-For-You is SUPER high. I mean, if a guy is going to swing the man-way, he might as well try it in college!

This book is more Out-For-You than GFY. Though Tom would have considered himself pretty straight, he w
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 stars

Two men struggle with fears and past hurts, trying to make their unexpected relationship work.

There's angst here, yes, but there is lightness too: HOPE, humor, and plenty of sexy times.

Tom is as much a victim of his dad's Ponzi scheme as the families who lost their savings. His dad in jail, Tom has nothing but a car he drives as a taxi on weekends and a duffle bag full of clothes. Tom is obsessively private and paranoid about attracting gossip.
He could still feel that train c
Santino Hassell
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: na, m-m
Warning: I am writing this review after a sleepless night. Rambling and bad grammar may be ahead.

I haven't enjoyed a character's voice this much since Meatworks. There is something about Tom's voice that was familiar. It was like listening to a friend of mine talk or confide in me. He sounded real. It helped that his narration is full of smart-ass and bitchy gems that made me want to fist bump him and say, "I feel you dude." Like that bit about the two dozen microbrews on tap? Yeah. Ain't no one
☆ Todd
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Angst-resistant collegiate boy connoisseurs
Shelves: favorites, jocks

Now *FREE* on Amazon, 2017-05-17.


I loved this one so hard!


Although I loved this book, a lot, at times it was emotionally challenging and frustrating. *Shoulder-Shake-&-Smack-a-Bitch*

Tom was the very rich, golden boy track star at his upper-crust college, until his ponzi-scheming father got caught and he lost it all. Well, everything except for his BMW, which he uses as both a taxi to make money and a home for a
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male-action

Oh boy, this one was SLOW! And long! And not a lot happened plot wise, but somehow in the end I ended up liking it!

Most of the book I spent waiting....

Waiting for something to happen between Reese and Tom...
Waiting for them to do something other than give each other blow-jobs...
Waiting for Reese's POV....
Waiting for Tom to get over his aversion to the public...
Waiting for Reese to get mad at Tom....
Waiting for them to break-up...
Waiting for something....anything....some drama..
Aug 19, 2014 marked it as my-issues-not-yours
DNF at 62%

I realized that it was my personal hang-ups that made me unable to continue this story. So I will not rate this and the review will be done under spoiler tag. It's clearly a "me-not-you" situation and I just think it will not be fair for the author if I openly write down my thoughts. Early reviews have been positive so go ahead and read them. Again, my issues. Not yours.

(view spoiler)
Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews

As an older college graduate, dorm life was one of those experiences I missed. I know people who enjoyed that time of their life, and others who hated it. To an introvert like me, living with a randomly selected roommate in a cramped room, communal bathrooms, noise, and lack of privacy sounds like hell on earth.

While I have no regrets about missing the dorm experience, I periodically enjoy reading about college life and the confusion, emotion
I wasn’t planning on reading this. Correction: I wasn’t planning on reading it now. But RL has been a bitch lately (I’ve also been in a sort of a book funk), and people whose opinion and taste in books I trust were praising Off Campus on social media, describing it as “emotionally authentic”. So I thought I’d try it too, especially after a lovely lady (shout-out to Karen Wellsbury
) agreed to buddy read with me.

Now, in the interest of honesty, even though I had high hopes, I was also a bit leery
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
 photo imagejpg1_zps5bb97d90.jpg

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I enjoy in a college romance setting. It was fun, sexy, and angsty. We have two young men who are carrying a lot of hurt with them.

What I loved:
*The two main characters. Reese and Tom were great individually and as a couple they had great chemistry.
*Character development
*Secondary characters
*It was heartbreaking but also full of hope
*The way she developed the relationship between Tom and Reese

What I didn't love:
*The book started
2.5 stars

Oi! Its me not the book. I wanted to loved this but i ended up being disappointed


There was a story here that i might have enjoyed but it dragged,on and on and on.........Tom's inner monologue became repetitive and i stopped feeling sorry for him.


On the upside i loved Cash.

There are some good reviews, so maybe its me not the book. I feel if i read this in 2015 maybe i would have enjoyed it but after reading so many MM books i guess i am over the manufactured break-up 'miscommunication
Vanessa North
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read for the NA college-romance lover. Amy Jo writes with a deft hand, mixing poignancy and humor to create a lovely emotional balance.

I want to talk about something AJ does in this book which is different from--and far superior to--the typical of the genre. I'm talking about PTSD.

Most depictions in genre romance of PTSD are heavy handed and stereotyped. Off Campus presents two heroes suffering from PTSD who actually, you know, act like people with PTSD. They avoid social situat
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-fiction
2.5 star. This story had so much wasted potential.

I didn't connect with either Tom or Reese. Their relationship struck me as convenient more than romantic in the beginning. Heck, I found much of the story boring. It was finally getting better, and I was somewhat enjoying the story when (about 90% or so) (view spoiler) And that kind of killed off the last of my interest.

For as much as I w
☆☆☆~Bev's World of Books~☆☆☆
Loved, loved, LOVED this!! 5 stars from me. Not giving anything away as far as the storyline is concerned, this is just TOO GOOD to miss!!

 photo SnoopyHearts_zpsdde64b5d.gif

When I shelve this as intense, I mean that there was a lot of angst...BUT there were humorous touches too. Yes, there were lots of 'should I throttle or hug him now?? ' moments as far as Tom was concerned, although given what he'd gone through and was still going through to some extent, I was really glad he made it to the other side with his head more
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

***4.5 Stars***

You know what's one of my favorite things about being a reader? When a book surprises you. When a cover catches your eye, a blurb intrigues you, and you jump in expecting one thing but end up getting so much more.

That's what happened to me with this book. I was not at all prepared for all the feels I got here. Off Campus is about so much more than a couple of college guys.

He could give Reese space in which to find his way closer to Tom, this strange dance they were doing
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I’m going to be completely superficial and say that I really love this cover. Simple but gorgeous.

The story inside isn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s darker and more intense with a high level of angst. Both Tom and Reese are damaged characters and are each in their own way fighting to heal.

There was also a surprising amount of humour here that balanced all the intensity. A lovely snarky humour that’s just the kind I adore reading. So with every wince at the layers of angst that
Sarina Bowen
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, new-adult
I just loved this. What a smart, complicated couple of characters she has created here. In the first place, Tom's troubles really resonated with me. Ms. Cousins has written an angsty conflict with all the appropriate feels, but it never dips toward melodrama. Every twist and turn is on solid ground. The Madoff-like story line was so well done.

And how could you not love Reese! He's been through a lot, but he isn't crushed and broken. I love an underdog, and he is a terrific example.

You know you'r
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews

1st off Thank You Samhain Publishing via Netgalley for a copy of the e-book.

Secondly that cover… O.M.G… that cover is HELLA… HELLA HOTT. I wanna hug it and squeeze it and sleep with it. That’s how much I love the cover. Because the model… I don’t know who is he but he reminds me of someone who I fell in love with this summer, Zach from BB16. (Big Brother 16).


So this story was my Zach story where he wasn’t just bi-curious but totally ended up with his guy. Gah. This cover. Gets 5+ Send Mare into
*** 4.5 Stars ***

This entire book was note perfect for me. I mean, even when I was frustrated or angry with one – or both – of the main characters, I still felt as if every word, thought, action and reaction that Amy Jo Cousins crafted onto the page was exactly as it should have been for maximum effect.

Trust me when I say you need to read this one!

*ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review.*
Mar 19, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liam Elliot
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don't get it. It seemed like so many people enjoyed this book, and I have no idea why.

A bunch of people mentioned liking Tom's voice.

I did not.

Jesus fucking Christ every single line of dialogue was bookended by an interminable explanation on what he thought about saying, why he thought about it, why he ultimately rejected it, why he finally decided on the thing he actually said, and then... after alll that... he might actually say it. Might.

I also didn't like the time bouncing flash forward,
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm
BR with Elsbeth, Julie, Marcie, Momo, Paul, Britta, Marte, and Kayl.

---Spoilers ahead---

Where to start, where to start…

The first 70% was so good I would have gladly given it 5 stars, and the last 30% was so terrible I wanted to give it 2 stars.
I REALLY liked the first 70%. And in my head the book ended there.


This is a book about two broken characters.
Tom is all alone. His father is in jail for conning people. Tom is currently homeless and without any money or friends. He is trying to work his a
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}
I'm still confused.

So my final update was:
"On the one hand, loved the writing and at the start loved both boys, I was so super excited. Feelings that followed were frustration at both of them, the urge to punch Tom in the throat and the very real fear that the book would never end. Can't rate or review this right now. Cash was awesome though."

And I think that still stands. I will say that I really, really, really enjoyed the first half of this book. But the second part was like a totally differe
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I've seen and heard so much praise for this book, and I understand why. It's great for New Adult fans, with two severely damaged characters, some healthy voyeurism, plenty of one-on-one time and a pretty well-constructed story.

For me, however, it just didn't work. I've read some pretty great M/M New Adult lately (the best being Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan by far) and this simply pales in comparison. I thought it was too long and somewhat repetitive, the characters needed more work, the emotion
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Whilst I enjoyed the read I really wanted more from the ending. I wanted more for & from Reese and Tom's relationship. I'd love a follow-up story. ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved being inside Tom’s head. He’s a wise-ass and makes no apologies for his actions. Everything he did felt real, even when he was a total asshole. Both Tom and Reese have some serious and deep-rooted issues. Tom doesn't trust anyone, he’s paranoid, and he’s selfish, while Reese is dealing with his past abuse. Obviously, it’s not smooth sailing for these two. Even though it took forever for Tom to address his issues, I took solace that at least he recognized that he was making stupid decisio ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 45%. I just can't read this. Just came across a single paragraph that was a approximately one and a third pages in length. Way, way too much telling and not nearly enough showing. I offered up two stars instead of one as the writing was technically good with no major editing issues in the first half of the book. I won't be reading this author again. Not my cuppa. ...more
You know that saying, “a river runs deep. Or the one “more than meets the eye.” And a few others like that? They are fitting for this book. You see, I went into this with the thought of hell yeah, bring on the college boy frot fest and while I got a bit of that, don’t let me mislead you, this book is not superficial, shallow or simple. It has some deep themes and it’s why I fell in love with it.

Tom Worthington, our narrator leads us to his new dorm room at the start of the story. We know that he
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

A Giant Snoozefest!

First, I feel bamboozled, this cover model is HOT. Who was he in the story? He couldn't be Reese, Reese was a short twink, that's skinny, with long dark hair in his face. Tom was 6 ft and blond. I want this model to myself!

OMG, seriously, Tom's inner monologues hogged the damn story big time. It had good times throughout it. It just wasn't enough. Goodness, I skimmed through it after 75%. I couldn't take it anymore. I liked Reese as a character. He truly was in love with Tom a
Gah, the audio was out of this world!! Seriously, if you only read this book you are missing out on some adorable narration for all 4 of these characters. :)

I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend. As much as I loved Tom and Reese, Cash and Steph were just so perfect I always looked forward to their byplay.

I wish for my very own Reese so that I can carry him around in my pocket and hug him, and cuddle him, and squeeze him, and just gush at his adorableness 24/7. Ahhh!! So cute!!

As far
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
A Million More Pages: 1 - Off Campus (Bend or Break): Apr 15 37 29 Apr 18, 2015 10:12PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Show Me (Extracurricular Activities #3)
  • Power Plays & Straight A's (CU Hockey, #1)
  • Mark Cooper versus America (Prescott College, #1)
  • Frat Boy and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #1)
  • The Backup Boyfriend (The Boyfriend Chronicles, #1)
  • Face Offs & Cheap Shots (CU Hockey, #2)
  • Just Friends (Never Just Friends, #1)
  • Bat Boy (Easton U Pirates, #1)
  • Try Me (Extracurricular Activities #2)
  • Sixty Five Hours (Sixty Five Hours, #1)
  • Five Dares
  • Superhero
  • Risk
  • Best of Both Worlds
  • The Faker Rulebook
  • The Boyfriend Makeover (The Boyfriend Chronicles, #3)
  • The Experiment
  • Goal Lines & First Times (CU Hockey, #3)
See similar books…
LGBT > Gay
See top shelves…
To get updates on Amy Jo's new releases, sign up for her newsletter at

Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes queer romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn't necessarily have anything to do with winning.

Other books in the series

Bend or Break (7 books)
  • Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break, #2)
  • The Girl Next Door (Bend or Break, #3)
  • Level Hands (Bend or Break, #4)
  • Real World (Bend or Break, #5)
  • Love Me Like a Rock (Bend or Break, #6)
  • Hard Candy (Bend or Break, #7)

Related Articles

Casey McQuiston fell in love with New York City before she started living there. She made the decision to relocate from her Southern home after...
166 likes · 16 comments
“I mean, you tell me I got a magic button up my ass that’ll make me come my brains out, of course I’m curious. But I’m never gonna go there, because gross.” 5 likes
“Shit-damn, fuck-a-damn, fuck-a-damn-damn, some motherfucker just fucked my man, I'll fuck another fucker better than the other fucker, shit-damn, fuck-a-damn, fuck-a-damn!” 4 likes
More quotes…