BWT (Belen)'s Reviews > When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up by John  Goode
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May 28, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, gay-book-reviews, mm-favorites, mm-fiction, 2015, 5-stars-for-real
Recommended for: John Goode fans...and everyone else
Read 3 times. Last read June 19, 2015.

John Goode you are a brilliant, sadistic, wonderful, crazy, impressive bastard. How else to explain how you can take a story with this many moving parts and create a masterpiece?

This is not a standard romance with hearts and flowers. This is a "real life" (sort of) romance.

As John writes in his afterword: ...romances that are made for entertainment reasons: they don’t really capture the complications of real life. "When I Grow Up" captures a lot of "real life" problems and complications.

BR with R and Meags!

When we last spent time with the boys at the end of 151 Days Kyle and Brad rode off into the sunset together. Going to California so Kyle can attend Berkeley on full scholarship while Brad...goes with Kyle to California.

And that's when things begin to unravel.

Because, really, who doesn't see that train wreck coming? And even though we're all screaming to get off the tracks...

description

A relationship takes two to tango and, ultimately, it takes two to fuck it up. Then, place that relationship in John Goode's world and you can count on massive drama helping everything to go wrong.

(view spoiler)

Luckily though Kyle and Brad have friends and family to help get their heads out of their asses. (Though mostly it's Kyle's head out of Kyle's ass.)

Some of my favorite scenes: (view spoiler)

But don't worry everyone! It's not all drama and long-lost drug addicted fathers trying to blackmail their son into giving them money so his mother can have a necessary surgery to possible save her life...(view spoiler) oh, no, kids...There is romance:

The words fell out of my mouth. “I love you.”

He looked up at me, and I saw the old sparkle back in his eyes. “I know.”

“Oh, now you’re Han?” I teased.

“I’m the guy in love with you,” he said, putting his hands over my shoulders.

“Hi, guy who is in love with me,” I said in almost a whisper. “I’m the guy you’re going to spend your life with.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Kyle said before he kissed me.


And in the end...we get the ending we really wanted all along (whether that's because John knew we'd hunt him down like a dog if he didn't give it to us - I can't say).

(view spoiler)

So, yeah...you got me John. You got me good.

(view spoiler)

description

ETA 6/20/2015: After the third (continuous, 'cause I'm crazy like that!) reading, lest it be said I abandoned my usual criticism and snark, though I LOVED this book (it's now on my "Favorites" shelf) and would totally recommend it...be warned! The rapid and constant POV changes are sometimes very distracting and/or hard to follow. We got no less than NINE POVs:
Kyle, Brad, Matt, Tyler, Robbie, Sebastian, Jennifer, Coach Gunn and Troy. I actually may have missed someone...oh yeah, even Billy gets a turn at bat when Dolores comes over and is all badass.

Sometimes the POV would change by the paragraph. Sometimes the same person got to denoted POV in a row (talk about confusing!), which caused me to backtrack again and again to figure out just who was talking at that moment.

That criticism aside, I loved it just as much the second time around.

Brad + Kyle = ♥TRUE LOVE FOREVER♥


This review has been cross-posted at Reviews by Jessewave
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
May 28, 2015 – Shelved
May 28, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 19, 2015 – Started Reading
June 19, 2015 –
0.0% "You know what, grown-ups? Fuck you.\n How's that for an opening jab? *winces* That right there tells ya...This ain't gonna be soft and fluffy, folks."
June 19, 2015 –
3.0% "Brad stopped me when he scooped me off my feet so I ended up in his arms like a little kid or a—you know what? I don’t want to finish that thought. I glared at him, but his grin didn’t waver. “I’m walking you over the door…er…thingy.”\n I wanted to be upset, but I couldn’t. I just smiled and felt my heart swell in my chest. “That’s for marriage, dummy.”\n “Then I’ll pick you up again, won’t I?”\n *swoons*"
June 19, 2015 –
4.0% "IKEA \n Yeah, we knew it was all do-it-yourself, but I had watched people use tools before. I wasn’t so useless that I couldn’t put together a damn entertainment center! I mean, come on, how hard could it be?\n If I ever get my hands on those Swedish-chef-sounding motherfuckers, I’m going to make them assemble their own spleens without instructions."
June 19, 2015 –
5.0% ""I love you,” I said, the feeling too much to contain a second longer.\n [Brad] opened his eyes and looked into mine, and I felt my heart skip a beat. He began to open his mouth and I held my breath as I waited for him to say he loved me back.\n “I know.”\n “Oh no you didn’t,” I said in mock outrage. “You did not just Solo me!""
June 19, 2015 –
7.0% "Trying to get two 18 year old males living together (outside their family homes for the first time) to communicate well is like asking a fish to grow fingers. Impossible without evolution."
June 19, 2015 –
8.0% "We will be talking about a lot of topics and there are no time-outs. You will either defend your point of view, or your point of view and opinion will be ignored. Today there is too much emphasis on rewarding people for managing to arrive somewhere on time and just participating.\n That is AWESOME! I wish I had professors like that in college."
June 19, 2015 –
11.0% ""See you tomorrow.” I headed out and saw Shark Guy and Todd over at the counter. \n “He looks just as good leaving as coming,” Shark Guy said, loud enough for me to hear. \n “How do you know? You haven’t seen him come yet.""
June 19, 2015 –
13.0% "Finally home and able to settle in to read. Who needs to go to a party? Not me!"
June 19, 2015 –
13.0% "How do you know your pants are too tight? \n When everyone can clearly discern your religion."
June 19, 2015 –
17.0% "Todd perked up. “Well then, that kills two birds with one cock.” He slid a set of keys over to me. “You can come, open up, work out, get sweaty, and have the place open by nine, and I can stay home and get my beauty sleep.”\n Colt glanced over at Todd. “You could go into a coma and it wouldn’t help you.”\n “I hope you get raped by wild dogs, you little shit.”\n Colt just gave him a grin."
June 19, 2015 –
18.0% "I opened my mouth to say something when the door opened quickly and Mrs. Phan took a half step. “Is everything okay? We heard a scream and—”\n And she realized Brad had turned around in shock.\n “Oh,”she said, not averting her eyes at all from Brad’s naked body. “Well, I see things here are…healthy. I am sorry." And she backed out of the room, eyes still plastered to Brad’s body."
June 19, 2015 –
18.0% "I fell off the couch, now crying from laughter.\n “Oh my God! I just got eye-fucked by our landlady,” Brad said, sounding like he was going to be sick.\n “Least we know if things get tough, you can always just trade sex for rent,” I said through gasping laughs."
June 19, 2015 –
21.0% "What was happening to us? One second we were perfect and the next, it was like we were two cats thrown into a pillowcase."
June 19, 2015 –
24.0% "“You don’t think I’m being paranoid?”\n He chuckled. “It’s not paranoia if the thing you’re afraid of happens all the time. You think people who are afraid of heights are paranoid? Fuck no, they’re afraid of falling to their deaths. Do I think a gay guy is paranoid to worry about his fine-ass boyfriend cheating on him? Again, no, because it happens more than it doesn’t.”\n “Well, you cheered me right up there,”"
June 19, 2015 –
25.0% "I’d felt so cut off from him lately I couldn’t even bring myself to fool around with him. If I kissed him, all I could think about was how many kisses were left? Was he kissing that other guy? Did he want to kiss him? I trusted Brad with my life, but lately not with my heart.\n Mark this moment: Kyle deserves what he gets. He's brought it all on himself."
June 19, 2015 –
26.0% "“You know what, Kyle? I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with you, but right now, I don’t care.”He stood up and picked up his keys off the table. “I told you that day by the lake that I was here until you told me to leave and I meant it. I still mean it. But if you want me to leave, be a fucking man and just tell me to leave. Because this shutting me out thing, it’s just mean.”"
June 19, 2015 –
27.0% "Oh, while we’re at it, Colt was lying about being hung like a mule, unless that mule was maybe an infant. Because if Kyle was wearing those shorts, there would be more hanging out than in. I don’t say that to be mean; I’m just saying. If you’re going to brag about having a big dick, either have one or don’t wear leather diapers in public.\n In fact, don’t ever wear leather diapers in public. Ever. Like ever, ever."
June 19, 2015 –
30.0% "What kind of fucktard gives GHB to an 18 year old to "loosen up"? Asshole."
June 19, 2015 –
30.0% "Psst...Kyle. Hey, buddy, little advice? Don't take advice from Teddy. He's a fucking moron with no life or relationship experience. Dumbass."
June 19, 2015 –
33.0% "I honestly can say I'm not even mad at John for letting it play out this way. What else can you expect from an emotionally stunted child?"
June 19, 2015 –
51.0% "*sigh* Once again with all the quick POV changes from everyone and their mother. Not my favorite thing."
June 19, 2015 –
57.0% "Bruce gave a bitter laugh. “Colt likes anything that gets him attention. If he was a little dumber, he’d just stand in front of the mirror and try to flirt with himself.”\n “Never work,” I said, pausing for effect. “He’d just be pissed the other guy was a bottom too.”\n Bruce looked at me for a few seconds and then burst out laughing. “Dude, that was a sick burn.”"
June 19, 2015 –
58.0% "This is such a great line Sebastian gets to say:\n Will this guy talk to me? Want to stay after? But they don’t because you’re the best-looking moped in the world. People love to ride you but, trust me, they don’t want their friends to see them doing it.\n Hahahahahaha"
June 19, 2015 –
61.0% "Brad nodded instantly. “Of course I do, but Matt…” He paused, and I prompted him to continue. “Everything you said to do, I always do. I’m always there for him and he’s always blowing the relationship up. I just don’t know how many more times I can convince him that being together is worth it.”\n “One more time past the last one,” I told him..."
June 19, 2015 –
66.0% "The bathroom door cracked open, and I saw Kyle peek out just far enough to spot me with his left eye.\n “Who are you yelling at?”\n “Judge Judy; the woman is a moron.”\n He paused and opened the door a bit to stare disbelievingly at me. “You do know the TV isn’t on.”\n “I don’t need a TV to tell me that old woman is insane. Change, now!” He slammed the door, and I took a deep breath.\n And this was why I hated Foster."
June 19, 2015 –
81.0% "“See, guys like Brad, they’re fiercely loyal and will go to the ends of the Earth for the people they love. But that loyalty only lasts so long if it isn’t reciprocated. He gave it his all trying to be with you, and you still dumped him. He’s hurt and he doesn’t want to be made a fool of again.”"
June 19, 2015 –
96.0% "“’Sides, if I wanted to cheat to win, I’d pull the minority card on your ass.” I glanced over at him. “Bitch, please; I am a gay black man who was raised by two adopted lesbian mothers. I am, like, one bad day away from my own reality show, and you are still a skinny white boy from Nowhere, Texas.” I shook my head, knowing he was trying to make me smile."
June 19, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
June 19, 2015 – Finished Reading
June 20, 2015 –
0.0% "Starting read #3 within 48 hours. This is such as awesome book people!! Get it!!"
June 20, 2015 –
2.0% "It wasn’t déjà vu, but it was close. I wasn’t remembering something that had happened; I was realizing I was going to remember this particular moment forever. The whole scene locked into my mind: the smell of the food from the kitchen, the sounds of traffic from the street, the way the light hit Brad’s face just right and he was all I could see and hear and touch.\n Perfect: the moment was perfect."
June 20, 2015 –
4.0% "When I was sure he was asleep, I did what any full-grown male twenty-first century high school graduate does when he needs to learn a new skill instantly.\n I went to YouTube."
June 20, 2015 –
5.0% "Kyle \n THE WEEKS leading up to school were the worst.\n |\n |\n Brad \n THE WEEKS leading up to Kyle going to school were like magic."
June 20, 2015 –
8.0% "One black guy down in front and I raised our hands. Everyone else glared at us like we had screwed them over.\n Crap! Now I’m freaking out again! Is “black”right or just something we say in Texas? African American? Colored? Why is it whenever I think about these things, I feel like I’m one white hood away from being a Klan member? The other guy was not white; that good enough? Jeez, I suck at this."
June 20, 2015 –
19.0% "To me he’s the guy I’m head over heels in love with.\n I’m just saying, if you think you know Kyle, you don’t know shit until you see him fuck. I just wish he could be this guy all the time: confident, aggressive, taking charge and not afraid to hurt someone.\n He spent so much time being afraid of being noticed that his first instinct is to just shrink down and be quiet…except when we’re having sex."
June 20, 2015 –
31.0% "The weird part was I didn’t even want to fight about it anymore. Brad and I were over and I just wanted to move on to the next part.\n 3rd time reading this...it doesn't miss me off any less."
June 20, 2015 –
40.0% "I owed Tyler an apology; there was no quick way to tell this story after all."
July 11, 2015 – Shelved as: gay-book-reviews
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: mm-favorites
September 23, 2015 – Shelved as: mm-fiction
January 2, 2016 – Shelved as: 2015
May 21, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-stars-for-real

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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BWT (Belen) I'll only be able to read at lunch today, but will get into it heavily upon returning home tonight.


R * A Reader Obsessed * I won't be able to really start until this evening. You guys are speed readers but I'm totally ok with you two going first ;)


BWT (Belen) R * A Reader Obsessed * wrote: "I won't be able to really start until this evening. You guys are speed readers but I'm totally ok with you two going first ;)"

*deadpan* Of course you are. BUT - like I said, I'll start at lunchtime, but the bulk will be after 7pm EST tonight. I'm blowing off a party to read. *cackles* No great loss there!


R * A Reader Obsessed * Lol. I might be able to get to it at lunch. Yep I'm not ashamed of saying "you go first".


Meags What the hell!? How is it even possible to read that fast. Damn you, woman!


BWT (Belen) Meags wrote: "What the hell!? How is it even possible to read that fast. Damn you, woman!"

Hahahaha! It wasn't that fast - it took me what? 4 and half hours?


Meags Yes, well, that's a swift effort in terms of how slow I am. I read for an hour last night and only knocked off 8%.


Meags ...and I'm glad you enjoyed it!! :)


message 9: by John (new) - added it

John Goode Me scared?




R * A Reader Obsessed * I knew you'd leave me in the dust but I'm glad you loved it. I haven't read your review yet... Meags I'm only at 5%...


Meags You're sure to catch up while I sleep! I'm so fricken worked up by this book! Grrrr! John, you're an evil genius >:(


message 12: by John (new) - added it

John Goode Meags wrote: "You're sure to catch up while I sleep! I'm so fricken worked up by this book! Grrrr! John, you're an evil genius >:("

I agree with the evil part :)


BWT (Belen) @ R: You'll catch up, of that I have no doubt...I did love it, and think you will too, though the POV changes on steroids I could have done without, but then it wouldn't have been the same.... It's definitely a good idea to leave off my review until you're done because it's spoiler-ific.

@ Meags: I honestly don't think of it as speed reading, because I feel like I was reading really slowly savoring everything and also because I had to backtrack multiple times because of all the POV changes to figure out who was telling the story at that point or what the hell was going on.

@ John: pfft Like you're really scared. Pshaw.


message 14: by John (new) - added it

John Goode "Personally, I felt like Navy part is crucial to Brad and Kyle actually sustaining their happily ever after.

If Brad had stayed in California, even to go to community college or a university, it wouldn't have taught him to stand on his own...to be his own person and not just a part of the "Kyle show"."

See this was the same conclusion I came to when writing this. At first I was just going to go through those first few months and how hard it is to keep that kind of drama under control because at that age every fight is THE WORST FIGHT EVER! But as I went in I realized, this wasn't going to work out for them. If I projected this out sooner or later it was going to just end, and badly at that.

So I had to literally take a step back and look at the story again and ask myself, how do I fix it? And it came to me that the problem was in the relationship itself. In books like this there is always A and B, in this case Brad and Kyle and that wasn't going to work. I mean we all know Kyle is going to turn out ok but we assume Bead will too, even Brad assumed it. But honestly, what was he going to do? Strip for a living? I mean sure, I'd tip him but it isn't a grown up decision. So I had to go back and see how to get him on that grown up track...

I'm glad you saw that too.


R * A Reader Obsessed * Just read your entire review! Loved all your spoilers because those were the parts that I squeed at also!!


BWT (Belen) John wrote: "See this was the same conclusion I came to when writing this. At first I was just going to go through those first few months and how hard it is to keep that kind of drama under control because at that age every fight is THE WORST FIGHT EVER! But as I went in I realized, this wasn't going to work out for them. If I projected this out sooner or later it was going to just end, and badly at that."

I'll admit the first time reading it I was not convinced of that. I was pissed. At two things: (view spoiler)

I think reading it three times in a row gave me a different perspective then just reading through it once did.

It will definitely go into my rotation of rereads. And, hey, if you want another Beta reader for their in-between story, or any others, I'd be ecstatic to help!


Meags Whoops! I've only just looked at your review spoilers and I apologise for stealing a few of the same quotes to make my own points. We clearly both have impeccable taste.


BWT (Belen) Meags wrote: "Whoops! I've only just looked at your review spoilers and I apologise for stealing a few of the same quotes to make my own points. We clearly both have impeccable taste."

Hahaha Technically we both stole from John. I'm okay with that.


Meags Technically lol


Elsbeth Wow, such an awesome review!!! Loved reading this...


message 21: by John (new) - added it

John Goode BWT (Belen) wrote: "John wrote: "See this was the same conclusion I came to when writing this. At first I was just going to go through those first few months and how hard it is to keep that kind of drama under control..."

I might take you up on that, I have two people now who read my stuff early. One for grammar and story progression and one for overall content, she only reads the finished first draft. So I will keep a third pair of eyes in mind :)


BWT (Belen) John wrote: "I might take you up on that, I have two people now who read my stuff early. One for grammar and story progression and one for overall content, she only reads the finished first draft. So I will keep a third pair of eyes in mind :)"

Like I said...ecstatic.


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