Tam's Reviews > The Rebuilding Year

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper
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's review
Apr 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: gfy, m-m
Read in April, 2012

4.5 stars

This is a double GFY, and seems to be true GFY rather than OFY which doesn’t always work for me, but in this case there is a slow development that makes it work. Ryan is a former firefighter who was badly injured (barely kept his leg) and has now gone back to college to finish his medical degree. He meets John the first day when his leg gives out and he smacks his head on the steps. John is the college gardener. They keep running into one another and become friends and when Ryan’s noisy roommate drives him nuts, John asks him to move in with him as he has a big empty house since he bought it to have his kids visit but his wife rarely allows them to come. Eventually they draw closer and closer until John makes a move, unfortunately coinciding with an unexpected visit by the kids, and then Ryan returning home for Christmas. When he gets back they start up a relationship, but when John’s son runs away from home and shows up it cramps their style. There’s also a subplot of a mystery of a suicide and dead body found on campus. There is a lot, but it’s 300 pages so it fits fine. The whole substory of John and his kids was well done, although I wanted to slap the mother and step-dad. I liked that the teenage son was not just a sullen brat. Sure he freaked out when he caught his Dad kissing a guy, but I liked how Ryan dealt with it and they didn’t treat him like a little kid or give in to him. He was a good kid and they allowed him to flourish by encouraging his natural talents rather than pigeon holing him. There’s a big dramatic ending, but on the whole I really enjoyed this and you just knew they were best friends who took it to another level. It was kind of amusing to watch these two older men like horny teenagers. Unless you hate the GFY theme, I’d highly recommend it.
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