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Sony Luvs Books

Books are the most portable past time you can go on an adventure, fall in love, and save the world. The best kind of story is those that linger in your head days after you've finished the book. And that's what reading is for me the search for the next book that lingers in my head.

Better

Better - Jaime Samms As part of my campaign to challenge myself to read different genres I’m not used to e.g. male-male romance novels. I decided to read Better, surprisingly I found it no different except for the intimate scenes. Mostly I was drawn to this book by the story this one in particular because it dealt with abuse. Abuse in same sex relationships, and dealing with the aftermath when it’s over. How the victim Jesse deals with it and the process he has to go through to pick up the pieces of his life and move on. Jesse reached out to me through the synopsis and intrigued me to read his story. I really liked “Better” it shone a light on the dark side of same sex relationships the abuse victims suffer at the hands of their partners.Delivering drama I must warn you if you’ve read this far this story includes rape, cutting, emotional as well as physical abuse. Though Jesse’s story is told in the aftermath of the abuse. We see examples in glimpses of what he went through flashbacks usually triggered out of panic, and when Jessie recalls his story for the trail. This is a touching story that shows how love can heal the painful scars of abuse. Aadon’s character was strong, kind, loving and supportive of Jesse and gave him what ever was best for his recovery even if it meant the kid gloves were on 98% of the time. Whether Jesse liked it or not. His character had his own family trauma his brother Ricky had been brutalized and subsequently retreated into himself. Which gave merit to his treatment of Jesse and why Aadon was especially sensitive to Jesse.Tackling a tough subject such as abuse and make it believable isn’t easy that is the mark of a good writer I believe Jamie did that here, but some character development (on the part of the women) would have elevated the story. The situations were believable the characters solid except as I mentioned the adults came off a bit cookie cutter. The women in particular far too motherly and understanding even given the story is about abuse. It’s human nature to have some push and pull of emotions at least Aadon’s parents were believable, that said I really liked this story. I liked that the writer didn’t fall into the trap of preaching to their readers or pushing the writers personal opinions.Jesse was relatable in a way that this could happen to anyone, he was tramautized sufficiently and you understood this terrible thing happened to him. The relationship between him and Aadon was cute at first but when the ghosts of past abuse crept in. Aadon’s support became a tad after school special. Reading it over and over how Jesse flinches at Aadon’s touch or Anthony this Anthony that. That should have been the light bulb moment to seek professional help. Shouldn’t Aadon’s affection and support given him the strength to do it sooner. Maybe then poor Aadon could be around Jesse with fearing he was going to trigger some traumatic memory. I was like where is the light at the end of this tunnel. Realism is all well and good but this is fiction the story needed to progress not just stagnate in this specific time in his life. It made it difficult to keep caring if they would get their happy ending.Jesse for all I loved him he got on my nerves after awhile. The tramautized victim was played up a little too much for my liking that resolution at the end seemed rushed. Because the way Jesse’s trauma was portrayed he seemed way too fragile for a relationship, to me. Yes it was a step in the right direction discovering he can still feel attraction for a man again but I think they rushed things. After that debacle of their first hook up he should have sought out help. I know the subject of abuse is serious and the more extreme it is the deeper the mark it leaves on you.But Better had a sound story be it a bit over embellished on the trauma, the pacing could have done with a pick me up some of the characters given a shot of realism all in all I loved the concept I just think a few small tweaks and it would have been a four or five. For these reasons I gave it a three and a half stars. I recommend this book for the 18 and older crowd for the adult themes, graphic sex scenes, mild salty language. If you read erotica or male male themed romance novels give this book a read.http://sonythebooklover.com/2012/06/better-review/