As a child of the 80’s and a life long fan of music, I have been intrigued by MLR Press’ Mix Tape series of novellas. I have had the opportunity to read a few that I have thoroughly enjoyed. My most recent read from the series is a little novella Heaven by CJ Anthony, from Volume 1 of the series (also available as a stand alone). It is a friends-to-lovers story a lifetime in the making, literally.
Author: CJ Anthony
Publisher: MLR Press
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Brian has climbed the high school social ladder, dating the pretty Popular girl—but he just wants to be with his best friend, Joey.
Your high school years will be some of the best years of your life—yeah right. Try some of the worst. Best friends since they were five, Joey Whitcomb–a Freak—and Brian Davis—a Brain—just want to survive the landmine of their 80’s high school years. Upheaval begins when Brian gets elevated unwittingly to boyfriend of the Queen of the Popular clique. But when Brian (with a little help from Bryan Adams) comes to an epiphany about his true feelings for his best friend does he risk ruining their friendship for a little piece of Heaven?
Brian and Joey have been best friends since they were 5 years old. The two boys couldn’t be more different. Joey is gay; Brian is straight. Joey is a “freak” who marches to his own beat; Brian is, in his own words, boring. Joey likes punk and alternative; Brian likes classic rock. They are inseparable… until they aren’t.
Heaven is a well written and emotional look at two boys paths from boyhood best friends to lovers and husbands. There is a lot of time, friendship, heartache, and love packed into Heaven’s approximately 38,000 words, but they are well chosen. I said in a review yesterday that well written prose will draw me in every time. Heaven is a shining example of such a story.
The entire thing is a flashback to the 70s and 80s as Joey and Brian are growing up. It is told in snips of time, but each snippet is full enough not to leave the reader wanting. More time, of course, is focused on their senior year. Brian can be a bit dense for someone so smart, but that is one of the reasons Joey loves him. Joey… poor Joey, in love with his clueless best friend…
If you are looking for a sweet love story, I highly recommend Heaven (even if, like me and Joey, you could do with a little LESS Bryan Adams in your life).
I would like to thank CJ Anthony for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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