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Just Between Us
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Book of the Month > February 2014 BotM - Just Between Us *spoilers*

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Kaje Harper | 16516 comments This thread is for discussion of our February 2014 Book of the Month - Just Between Us Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble by J.H. Trumble

Feel free to discuss the book or related topics and post reviews. This thread may contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the book yet, proceed at your own risk. I look forward to discussing this with the group.

Kaje Harper | 16516 comments I really enjoyed this book, and the nicely-judged impact of the major plot threads.

My Review:

A very well-done novel about Curtis, a young gay college student, and Luke, the high-school 17-year-old he is interested in, as they come to grips with the fact that Curtis has tested positive for HIV. This was very realistically done, avoiding both melodrama and excessive simplicity. The reactions of all the characters, from the gay guys, to their parents, siblings and friends, were really well portrayed. The resolution was positive, but plausible, and the journey there had some twists.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone who likes realistic YA stories, especially as it deals with a topic that is so timely. Being HIV+ is a fact of life for a scary number of young people, gay and straight. Here it is not minimized, and yet is presented in a context of family and romance, of personal growth with both successes and major mistakes. Only the present-tense narration, and somewhat sparse writing style, were drawbacks for me. I felt set off at a little distance from the characters, and while I read through eagerly for the outcome of their story, the major events in the guys' lives didn't have the emotional impact they might have carried for me. This may be an actual plus, for those who like their YA stories with a less-angsty tone. Definitely recommended reading.

Chaise Carter | 6 comments I loved this book for the most part :)

My review:

If you want a light-hearted, feel good book, this isn't the one for you. This book is one that makes you feel the characters pain, sorrow, anger, and mixed emotions. Trumble really steps up to the plate and delivers on a story that isn't just about a boy falling for another boy, but about deeper issues that unfortunately plague much of the gay community today. Whether it be HIV specifically, or the unknown, bad stigma that is attached to the virus, she shapes these characters in a way that displays the range of emotions that I know I would feel if I contracted the virus. Curtis' breakdown after he learns that he is positive is truly heart-wrenching and made me have tears come to my eyes. I also felt what Luke was going through and wanted to reach out to both of them and just hold them and tell them everything was going to be alright.

I was pressed to read this all in a day, not because I had to, but because I was captivated by the story. Trumble doesn't try to complicate the story with too many side stories, but allows both Luke and Curtis to develop fully which allows us as readers to really understand where they stand as an individual and as a couple. I was not expecting to be taught a lesson about life and love, especially under the effects of HIV, but the love story that I tuned in for, taught me multiple lessons. 1. While sex is an intimate thing, deeply caring about a person and being there for them can be even more intimate. 2. Pain and anger can fester, drawing people apart, but sometimes when you let go of yourself it can often times draw you even closer together

Kaje Harper | 16516 comments I also thought there was both realism and heart to this book.

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