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Pictures of You

('90s Coming of Age #1)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Growing up gay isn’t easy. Growing up gay in Knoxville, Tennessee is even harder.

Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel, a private school senior—class of 1991—is passionate about photography. Peter doesn’t have many friends, preferring to shoot pictures from behind the scenes to keep his homosexuality secret.

Enter Adam Algedi, a charming, worldly new guy who doesn't do labels, bu
ebook, 316 pages
Published September 19th 2016 by Leta Blake Books (first published September 17th 2016)
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Leta Blake Hello! The second book will be released in November 2016. The third will be either January or February 2017. The fourth will be March or April 2017. T…moreHello! The second book will be released in November 2016. The third will be either January or February 2017. The fourth will be March or April 2017. Thank you for your interest! (less)
Leta Blake Hi, Lana! I have hired a marketing team, IndiGo Marketing, to handle the delivery of ARCs to review sites and to readers. Do you have a review site th…moreHi, Lana! I have hired a marketing team, IndiGo Marketing, to handle the delivery of ARCs to review sites and to readers. Do you have a review site that you run or review for? Thank you for your interest! (less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*4.5 stars*

Holy sh*t, this book made me raaaage. I was like a complete and total psycho reading this story, oscillating between smiling, crying and screaming, and scaring the crap out of my husband while going through an insane range of emotions.

There are some things you NEED to know before starting this book. Just a warning, some might view some of these details as *spoilery,* but, honestly, you can get most of this information from the blurb:

1) There is no HEA in book 1. None. Nada. In fact,
Five freakin' awesome stars. Wow, Leta, you have outdone yourself.

I graduated high school in 1988 in the American south. Leta Blake captures the time period with exquisite perfection. Set in Knoxville, TN between August 1990 and June 1991, Pictures of You transported me back to a time before internet and cell phones. To a time that was less friendly toward the LGBT community (though we still have a long way to go), Operation Desert Storm was underway and prejudice was normal. It isn't a time o
***** 6 Stars ******

Just send someone to collect the body.



Coming of age.
Young Love,
Innocent Love,
Illicit Love,
Blind Love,
Selfish Love
Haunting Love
Ugly Love
Doomed Love
We love so deeply.

Strong, beautiful, real, passionate and evocative writing.
Extra love for secondary characters too!!

Leta Blake
Aug 13, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

This series has been in the works for fourteen years. It is my favorite work in many ways and Peter is the character of my heart. I hope readers love him, too. Thank you to every reader! I know Peter is in good hands now. :)


Coming September 2016.
5 Perfect Stars
This is an amazing story that I couldn't put down! Peter's story is one that will make your heart ache. For those of you who dislike cheating, you may not like this story however, it really isn't cheating in the usual sense and I think everything Peter is put through in book one is going to make him all the more stronger in following books.

This story is set in the year 1991 and takes place in Knoxville Tennessee, so think back to a time when being Gay was really frowned upon, AID
Keira Andrews
I absolutely adored this gay fiction coming of age story. It's emotional and enthralling, and if you want a book that will hit you in the feels, here it is. In this first part of Peter's story, we meet an insecure teenager swept up by the excitement of first love and smokin' hot sexual discovery. Peter's just starting to find his place in the world as a young gay man, and there are lots of bumps and bruises along the way as new people come into his life, bringing changes both positive and negati ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, sept-16
Leta, Leta, Leta,

You've been-

At first glance you know this is the coming of age story of Peter and Adam. Peter's isolated at school and keeps his homosexuality a secret. In comes the new guy, Adam, who sweeps Peter off his feet. Easy, right?

This book put me through the ringer. I'm going to post a few images of what I felt like while reading it.



I feared for my iPad while reading this. I even thought to myself- there's no way this book is getting a high rating because-

Nothing high
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love coming of age stories and I love Leta Blake, so when I saw this ARC available I immediately requested it. I'm so glad I did! What a book! It consumed me from start to finish. I probably would have read it in one sitting if real life would have let me. Alas, my job as chauffeur, housekeeper and head chef kept getting in the way. But every time I put the book down, I couldn't wait to get back to it.

I'll be honest with you, it's not an easy read. You are not always going like these characte
The writing was superb!!! And even if I was enraged by the unfairness of it all most of the book, I loved Peter and this story! Truly beautiful!!! Sad, extremely painful at times, but amazing!
Jumping right into the second book. My heart aches SO bad, but I NEED to know what happens next.

"Something in me had broken over our months together. It hadn’t been an instant break, more of a slow shatter. I could point back to moments and say, “This crack started there, and this one there,” but now I was

I have a few authors where I don't even read the blurbs. Someone says "Hey, do you want an ARC from *insert author name* and I say "Yes" and off I go. This author is on that list. So.......Alisa didn't read the blurb or the note at the bottom of it and went into this expecting a sweet ya love story. Alisa ended up reading way into the middle of the night while grasping a bottle of wine, a box of kleenex and alternating between having teary eyes and screaming death threats at a fictional characte
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, lgbtq
3,5 stars

How the heck can I possibly rate this?
I can't remember ever being that upset and frustrated for virtually a whole book.
I loved Peter, LOVED him with everything I've got and maybe it's age or whatever but I felt so protective of him I just wanted to kill Adam most of the time.

Peter is sweet, and cute and kind and everything else lovely people around him say, even if he doesn't believe that. He is a lovable nerd, so when he meets Adam,who is confident and hot and sexually more experie
5 stars for this amazing and gut-wrenching book.

Peter is a new student at Kingsley High, a private high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Tormented by a group of jocks who’d pegged [Peter] as gay since the eighth grade," his parents transfer him to Kingsley for his senior year. At late summer orientation he meets twins Adam and Sarah, who've attended various American schools around the world and have been sent to Knoxville to live with their older brother, away from the political turmoil in the
 photo SnoopyHearts_zpsdde64b5d.gif

Another historical series [yep, set in the 1990's...Geez, does that make me feel old!! 😕], and Leta, this has gone straight into my top 5 reads of 2016!! We have a) oodles of feels [yes, the emotional wringer has made so few appearances this year, so yay!!], b) excellent writing, [well's Leta!!], and c) a child-like innocence, but also so many lies and numerous instances when cheating rears it's ugly head [ugh!!...although to be honest, I'm making allowances cos they're only 18 and
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
~4.5 stars~

I want to hunt down Leta Blake and stalk her until she tells me what will happen in the end of this series. "Pictures of you" put me through an emotional wringer, and fucked with my sanity big time. And this is only the beginning of Peter's journey!

I'm just going to share some thoughts since there are already wonderful and instructive reviews (read Jewel and Heather's review).

I know there are a lot of Adam haters out there but I'm not one of them. It's easy to love Peter, the gay ki
dammit, liz
Wow. This was kind of beautiful. Bittersweet as fuck. I do feel like I've been sulking after a breakup and listening to The Cure though. As the author says in the blurb, this is a four book series. We're nowhere near Peter's happy ending, so I imagine some of you may want to wait a bit.

This book though. Leta Blake books have a way of getting under my skin. This is quite different from her other stuff, but I was just as emotionally invested, if not more. The writing and characters were lovely. T
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, young-adult
I miss my childhood while reading this book. I grew up in the 90s without internet and cellphone, and it was AWESOME! At least I thought so. How did we survive it? Sometimes I wish I can go back in time so that I can raise my babies without such evil modern technology. But then... I wouldn't have my kindle and my ebook and Goodreads!

This is the first book of the series and despite me feeling more frustration than happiness, I can see so much potential for the author to explore. For our main pro
Kaje Harper
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book begins a series, following eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel as he leaves behind his previous existence as the inexperienced bullied gay virgin kid with no friends. He meets Adam - bisexual, persuasive, closeted, scared, unfair, charismatic, and self-focused. They begin a friendship, and then a sexual relationship, but in the early 90's there is still a lot going against them. Adam insists on hiding, on keeping Peter as his private secret. Adam's sister Sarah backs him up, and will do any ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Love was like honey—a little was good, a lot was amazing, and too much? Well, too much made a big, sticky mess, a sweet mire I was drowning in, alone and more exhausted by the minute.

What a journey. I was put back into the past. A quarter century. In the 90s, I was early twenty and I remember as if it had been yesterday. The music, the quarrels as a high school graduate, the problems of professional choice, the conflicts with the parents, the first love and so on.

This book is so life-like an
-4.5 stars-

When I saw a Leta Blake arc up for grabs I jumped on. Silly me didn't read the blurb first though so wasn't aware it was coming of age, and that it was part one of a four part series. It was to late though because I'd already gotten it, so I put it off for a while, but finally decided I had to just do it. Well let me tell you, I absolutely devoured this story. It was fantastic, and quite possibly my favorite Leta Blake to date. Now that's not to say it was all happiness and roses. In
Les Joseph
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 incredible stars*

So, as I'm sure happens to all of you, there are certain authors that you know going into their book you can expect certain things. Whether it's a specific type of character, or a setting, or even a theme, you just know when you pick up the book you'll find it. With Leta Blake you know you're going to get stellar writing, complex, layered characters, along with lots of angst and turmoil along the way. In her new book, Pictures of You, Leta doesn't fail to live up to this ex
Jules Lovestoread
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Posted to The Novel Approach on September 19th, 2016....

This one was rough, guys. I have so many mixed emotions about this book. I honestly don’t know how I feel about it, even hours later. Please don’t misunderstand me… I’m not saying it wasn’t good. It was absolutely good; Leta Blake can write the hell out of a story. But, that being said, it was a tough one to read, and I personally have to be in the proper mindset to read a book like Pictures of You. I
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

I have to start by saying I love Leta Blake's books. She's never ever disappointed me and even if you don't like a character she manages to tell her story in such a deep, layered, realistic, honest, no holes barred way that you can still understand them and their emotions, while still not liking them (that made sense in my head lol).

This is my very first Coming of Age book and quite honestly I never gave that sub-genre(?) any thought as I also don't usually read YA but it's Leta so off I
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well, well, well this is a tricky one.
Is it a romance?
A coming of age story?
A kick in the gut?
It all of those things and more.

It's beautifully written but damn it hurts.

Peter is adorable. He's sweet and geeky and funny. He has absolutely no self confidence and yet occasionally, very, very occasionally, we get glimpses of steel when he stands up for himself. Those moments are precious.

Adam is....Adam. I liked him and then I didn't, but that's the whole point.
We've all known an 'Adam' or t
Mike Oaks
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating and raw

I was expecting a light read when I started this book and by the third chapter I was hooked. The story isn't light at all. Peter is under the influence of Adam. I didn't like Adam; I'm not sure if I ever did as the chapters passed. He has so much control over Peter. Yet the things he told Peter sounded so genuine I found myself always wondering what was real and what was a lie.

Peter talked about love being like honey. A little is good, more is better, but too much and it's a
Since I was feeling really hesitant to continue with this story, I broke down and read a couple of the reviews in detail.

This is 100% the reader and not the book.

At 36% I'm going to dnf this one because I can't handle the emotions that the story invokes.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Great coming of age story. Loved Peter and felt so much for him. I gotta admit I was tense through a lot of this knowing that the HEA is a good three books away!!
A powerful and poignant come of age story.

This amazing coming of age story set in the early 90's was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. Love, hate, anger, empathy, disbelief, understanding, arousal, and reminiscences of times past.

It is the story of Peter and Adam, told through Peter's point of view. Two seniors meet. They become fast friends. They fall in love. And one falls in love with a girl. I yelled at both of these characters for what they did, and moments later I found myself ackno
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how to review this book? It is amazing, I need book #2 now
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

The main thing I would tell readers!!!

Pictures of You is about heartbreak, sadness, love, and understanding. It's about two young men falling in love in the early 90's in Knoxville, Tennessee in their senior year of High School.

I am so shocked at myself, it was emotional at many different of times, but I didn't cry as much as I thought I would. I'm also a fan of Adam!!! Don't throw anything at me. I think I understand Adam so much, and his reasoning. He made me what to kid
Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Stars

Leta Blake has become an author whose books I pounce on. Most of the time the payoff is an incredible reading experience.

This time?


This start to a four-part series had a few elements that spoke to me. Namely, the 1990-91 high school setting — this was my era. In fact, it was my graduating year. Also, the Knoxville setting — I used to have some ties there, enough that the
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Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her da ...more

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'90s Coming of Age (2 books)
  • You Are Not Me ('90s Coming of Age, #2)

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