Emma Sea's Reviews > Shane and Trey

Shane and Trey by Anyta Sunday
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: enemies, college, coming-out, phobic-parents
Read from February 02 to 04, 2012

Very enjoyable, happy, college-based romance. I found the slow burn simply delicious, as Shane and Trey went from bullied/bully to lovers. Once they got together there was enough interest in filling in the back stories and uncovering each characters' broken-ness to keep me engaged. There was some sexual content without being at all sexually explicit, which would make this a very good YA m/m romance.

I found Sunday depicts families particularly well. Usually in m/m there's the dysfunctional family played against the 'perfect' family. In Shane and Trey there are no perfect families. Every family has its own issues. No one is completely bad or completely good. The tensions are believable: no-one beats anyone else to a pulp or keeps them locked in a basement, instead, people react thoughtlessly, let each other down, and make very stupid decisions, but they still care about each other, and try to forgive each other, even when they don't offer the perfect, unconditional love others might crave. Characters know their flaws, and want to be better than they are, but at the same time Sunday acknowledges that these flaws are what make us all human. No instant fixes are offered.

A few very minor niggles: Sunday needs a better beta, as there are some annoying errors i.e. a table draw, help for hell, seamen for semen etc.
I didn't like the epilogue as it didn't add anything to the story that needed to be there. When you finish a story with "There were no words. No more needed to be said", don't add more words.

And because I will probably never get around to writing a journal article on it, but still it's very interesting to me, a thought...

Shane and Trey's world as Auge's Supermodern

Trying to pin down the setting initially made me a bit frustrated, because I couldn't tell if it was British or American. My overall sense was that it was the US, but the MCs eating crisps made me locate it in the UK. However, once I realised that the author is a Kiwi, it made perfect sense to me. As a Kiwi you grow up knowing that books are set somewhere else. It's actually really cool. In contrast I see reviews from Americans on Amazon (never on Goodreads!) where the reader is frustrated with a British setting or language terms. I believe it is this influence of everywhere 'real' being somewhere else, that has contributed to Sunday setting these books in a supermodern world: an everyplace, an everytime.

The books are set within Auge's non-place: places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places". This novel is set in a campus dorm and a camping ground, both transitory spaces. The followup, St-st-stuffed, is set in a hotel; another transitory space. The stories could be in any country, any (postmodern or post-postmodern) time. Really any time, because St-st-stuffed is set 21-22 years after this book, and yet they exist in the same exact same universe.

Sunday has selected the common threads between Western urban centres, and places Shane and Trey in a world made of nothing but commonalities: transitory spaces, third places (coffee bars,generic Asian takeaways), "the suburbs".

This makes Sunday a very interesting writer, and I'll be looking forward to her work from now on.

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Reading Progress

23.0% "I'm completely loving this so far, and then I hit my personal grammar-nazi trigger:"the draw of the side table", plus on the same page, "seamen unloaded onto my stomach". Frankly that sounds potentially lethal!"
55.0% "It's really interesting that I totally cannot tell if this is set in the US or in the UK. From the college dorm life I thought US, but then the guys shared a packet of crisps, which I didn't think was a term used in the US. I've been searching for clues in the text ever since but to no avail."
09/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Mandapanda GREAT review Emma!!

Jess Candela This review really nails it! I was similarly confused and frustrated trying to pin down the setting, and kinda wish I'd read your review before reading the book. :)

message 3: by Don (new)

Don Bradshaw I've got this book but have been avoiding it for some reason. I'm putting it on my read soon list if you liked it that much. Great review Emma.

message 4: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 The part about Auge's Supermodern was really interesting and I think explains some issues I've had with Clare London's books in the past. I liked another Sunday story, so I'll have to see if this placelessness bothers me here.

message 5: by julio (new) - added it

julio nice review, emma. your commentary on supermodern settings was apt.

message 6: by julio (new) - added it

julio (because i just had this big convo with another author—a brit—about how british authors have to de-britishize their prose if they want to reach the widest possible audience, which, naturally, enraged me)

Emma Sea Julio, you should try more of Anyta's work: she's a great writer. She tells her stories with a subtle beauty.

message 8: by julio (new) - added it

julio all over it, thanks Ems :-)

Nichole (DirrtyH) I love what you added about the setting, because it was starting to drive me crazy. If they're Brits, put it in Britain! But it never came out and said anything that specifically placed it in the US. Now I can just let go. :)

Emma Sea heh, yeah. Sunday's use of place is very interesting. She's a Kiwi who has lived in Germany and the USA, and, even apart from this particular book, I can see in her work this lovely melding of places. She has a free story called Dragons of Drupes (one of her earliest works), and there's a house called Oxion House, made into flats, with doors that open into different countries/realities.

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