I would like to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
"You have to be strong and face your fears, Jon. Courage is endurance for one moment more!"
It was great having Jonathan's story continue almost from the very point it stopped in Caught in the Crossfire. Jonathan is coming to terms with his sexuality, while being ostracized by his peers who feel that homosexuality is not only a choice but a disgusting one. As the world evolves, as does our thinking and the way we see things. Unfortunately, there are numerous people and levels of society who feel that we are creatures who should have all the nice things of the present but keep our mindset in the dark ages.
I felt for Jonathan. He's in high school, it should be the time of his life, but he's too worried about everyone finding out his "secret." In love with another boy, he's trying hard to find his identity in life. Every off colored comment, he takes to heart, thinking his secret is out. Suddenly, there's open talk. He's somehow gotten on the bad side of a kids who starts rumors. In high school, rumors become sworn to God fact in about .2 seconds and unfortunately for Jonathan, those facts he's been hiding come out of nowhere. Luckily, he also finds some allies through everything.
The story itself is wrapped within another story that gradually comes to fruition and gives the reader some answers. There is pain; physical, mental and emotional along with the feeling that things will work out, no more like, things have to work out. I wanted nothing more than to block the suffering that Jonathan went through, but I also know that some of this suffering also brought him to the realization of how life can be when surrounded by those that accept you. Though everything, Jonathan never seemed to lose his faith. There were times he wondered why, but what Christian hasn't stumbled along the way. It's the whys that bring us the answers that make our faith that much stronger.
If there was any one thing that I would have changed about this story, it would have been the pictures and certain texts from Ian. I felt it was a bit out of place for Jonathan and didn't feel quite right. I feel that I've gotten to know Jonathan enough, that he would have made it known to Ian early on that those things weren't appreciated. That right there is one reason this book did not have a 5 star impact on me.
Honestly, this book is so much stronger than the first one. The story is complex but much more put together and really holds the interest of the reader. This is the story of a person finding the strength, courage and bravery to not let the naysayers bring him down. This is a story that everyone needs to read, it's really opens ones eyes to the hate that is being flung at people for choosing to love a person of the same gender. Sexual orientation does not define a person, a person is defined by their actions and reactions.
"To believe that God sent His grace to watch over me in my darkest hour. And to know that someday, maybe not today, but someday, I'll even dance again." ~ Jonathan