Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble

Just Between Us
Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble
Seventeen-year-old Luke Chesser is trying to forget his spectacular failure of a love life. He practices marching band moves for hours in the hot Texas sun, deals with his disapproving father, and slyly checks out the new band field tech, Curtis Cameron. Before long, Luke is falling harder than he knew he could. And this time, he intends to play it right.
Since testing positive for HIV, Curtis has careened between numbness and fear. Too ashamed to tell anyone, Curtis can't possibly act on his feelings. And Luke--impulsive, funny, and more tempting than he realizes--won't take a hint. Even when Curtis distances himself it backfires, leaving him with no idea how to protect Luke from the truth.
Confronting a sensitive topic with candor and aplomb, acclaimed author J. H. Trumble renders a modern love story as sweet, sharp, and messy as the real thing, where easy answers are elusive, and sometimes the only impossible thing is to walk away.


Publishes in US: September 24th 2013 by Kensington
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: author/publisher
Series? No

Buy it:
Barnes and Noble

Find J.H. online: site   twitter   facebook  blog

    Luke and Curtis had my heart from page one. Just Between Us has these beautifully crafted characters that have strengths and flaws making them realistic and making me cheer for them as well as feel right along with them. J.H. has a way of writing relationships that make you fall in love right along with them, and understand their trials, feel their highs, and tingle with anticipation of what will happen next. 
    This is a timely book on HIV, and Curtis is just like everyone else, he made a few bad decisions, but they caught up to him. And it not only drastically changed his life, but the ones of his family and the boy Luke who fell in love with him, and stuck by his side even when he finds out the risk to him and what changed Curtis's life. The medical facts seem well researched but they don't beat you over the head with them, we learn as Curtis learns about it. 
     But if you think this is only an issues book you will be missing out, because at the core, it is a love story. Showing that love doesn't matter race, gender, illness, it just happens. There is a spark, and a lot of tension that preceded their relationship, but I loved every part of it. The stolen words and glances made this semi-slow build and finally into a ignition towards the end. 
    Another aspect about this that I loved was the family involvement. While neither family was perfect or whole, each had one supportive parent, and their relationships with their siblings made the story shine. While Luke deals with his dad who at first is not at all accepting, they later form a tentative relationship, and watching that grow and change as well as Matt's comments to spur their dad on was pretty awesome. 
    I should note there is an age difference. Its only three years but Luke is in high school and Curtis is in college. It didn't bother me because they had things in common and it's like a freshman with a senior to me. There are also some pretty steamy scenes, nothing too left field for the ya genre, but might make some uncomfortable. I personally loved every second of it, and it made me love the story even more. 
    Everything isn't all roses and chocolate between Curtis and Luke, they get in some pretty intense disagreements and they both do some pretty hurtful things to the other, but to me, it makes it more realistic. It is gritty, but I think that all that happens can be chalked up to hurting teens and not knowing how to handle such a huge thing in their life. 
Bottom Line: Emotional and realistic journey of a young man who discovers he is HIV positive and the one who falls for him regardless.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you know anyone with HIV?
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  1. Just Between Us definitely sounds like an intense read, I'm glad that this book worked really well for you Brandi! Great review! :)

  2. The premise isn't something that instantly appeals to me, but I HAVE heard good things about this author, so I guess I'm somewhat curious now. I'm glad you liked it, Brandi. Lovely review! :)

  3. It definitely sounds like an intense and fairly emotional read. Great review.

  4. The characters sound awesome :) Glad you enjoyed this! I've not heard of it before.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  5. I've heard such good things about this author. I'm glad that not only do you have a very socially relevant story, but also a beautiful love story.
    Thanks for the review, Brandi!

  6. This sounds really well done from the medical issues, decision making to the romance and family unit..adding to my list!

  7. Oh wow this sounds like a really emotional read. Love books that deal with tough subjects. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  8. This certainly sounds intense and gritty! I have to admit, this is not something I'd feel comfortable to pick up, but thank you for sharing how much you enjoyed reading the story.

  9. Great review! I'm dying to read this. Love J.H. Trumble; she's a favorite of mine. Her previous two books were just as fantastic.

  10. Wow -- this sounds really great. Hope I get a chance to try it!

  11. The tensions sounds really great and I like a good slow burn. And yay family involvement! Sounds lovely!

  12. I'm not usually taken by M/M books but I do love the sound of this. It looks like it has a genuine message and not some trashy romance novel.

  13. Wow, what an emotional sounding book. I'm happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for introducing me to this intense read.

  14. Oh I really want to read this one! I really think I would enjoy it a lot. I've been wanting to read one of this authors books for awhile!

  15. I have never heard of this book but it sounds really good. I love emotional reads so I might check it out. Great review :)

  16. I didn't know this book and I confess that the topic is really interesting. I'm glad you liked the characters as soon as you started it.

  17. This sounds like it is a really good book. I always want to read issue books, but get scared off a little. I think this would be such a tough situation to fall in love with someone who is HIV positive!

  18. I love the sound of this one. I really love emotional reads, and this one deals with such a tough topic. I am very curious to see how the author makes it so realistic and easy to get invested into the story. I love the sound of Luke and Curtis. They sound like enjoyable characters. I really want to know if they get their HEA. Plus, I love the message behind this. I am really looking forward to this one! I'm glad you enjoyed this, Brandi! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  19. This looks like such a sweet love story-I'm already falling for Luke-the sweet, impulsive funny boy!

  20. Another new one for me. It really sounds like it tackles some great issues. I'll have to check this one out.


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