Thursday, October 3, 2019

Cranberry Boys by Scudder James Jr.

Is it possible to have it all—even for a boy from a dying town of old cranberry bogs? Even for the son of religious zealots who will never accept his being gay? Even if his closeted boyfriend will never acknowledge their relationship and dates girls to distract people?

Sixteen-year-old cross-country runner Zeph hopes so, because he isn’t giving up on his happily ever after. He has big plans for life after high school and for his relationship with Connor… even if Connor insists they keep it secret.

Then Bronson, an old friend of Zeph’s, returns to Watermarsh after being kicked out of boarding school with secrets of his own in tow. But they keep their eyes on the prize and start a blog to impress colleges who often dismiss small-town students like them.

But not even Zeph can run from everything as his home life implodes and the love triangle he’s stuck in with Bronson and Connor begins to crumble. He’ll do whatever it takes to hold on to hope—even if it means a covert trip to Bronson’s old prep school.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Harmony Ink at Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

When we first meet Zeph (great name), his life seems pretty good. His best friend Connor is his secret boyfriend, he is on the track team, he is well liked, he has solid parents (even if they are religious zealots), and a really cool attic hangout in his dad’s factory.

It doesn’t take long before Zeph’s life starts to become complicated. He’d rather things with Connor not be secret. And are you really boyfriends if your secret boyfriend is getting it on with girls? Then Bronson returns to school having been gone for several years. He his openly gay and interested in Zeph, and Zeph finds being with Bronson so much easier than being with Connor. Add in issues with his parents, issues with being in the closest, general teenage angst, and suddenly Zeph’s easy life is anything but and things get quite serious.

I was fascinated by Zeph. He is a good guy but there were times when he didn’t stand up for himself or speak up when I thought he should have, and it frustrated me. But it interested me too. He was intelligent, why did he seem so tongue tied at times? I wanted to learn more about Zeph and the further into the book we got, the more I understood him.

There are some very difficult scenes in this story and also some uplifting ones. Zeph’s journey sucked me right in and I even cancelled plans I had made so that I could stay inside and keep reading. Cranberry Boys is an excellent young adult novel that is about more than just the romance, it is about growing up and it is really well done. A solid four stars from me.

Scudder James Jr believes happily ever after begins today. Junior high was terrible, boarding school better, and college the place he met the boyfriend he married (despite a pit stop in a fraternity). He started in finance because he thought he had to, but instead became a counselor for refugees, a fundraiser, and a teacher of sex and spirituality classes. After Chicago, Seattle, London, and Japan, he’s back in Boston where it all started. His favorite place to write has a harbor view of two colonial ships.

Scudder loves telling stories in print and on film. He’s thrilled that his short LGBTQ films have shown around the world in places as unexpected as Alabama and East Africa. Twenty years ago, he was diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disease that doctors are bewildered has disappeared. Scudder is an avid meditator and passionate about appreciating every moment.

One of his favorite mornings has been waking up on a boat in Patagonia with his perfectly imperfect partner and hiking an island of 130,000 penguins.

Connect with Scudder

Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Cranberry Boys (Watermarsh Tales #1) by Scudder James Jr. to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.