I have been wanting to expand my reading experiences a bit and decided to pick up a couple of YA m/m titles. Author Nash Summers manages to pack quite a bit into this short story about a young man who gets help seeing beyond himself from an unlikely source.
Author: Nash Summers
Publisher: Queerteen Press
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Justin is hell on legs. He’s a self-proclaimed brat, a manipulator, and has a bit of a flare for the dramatic. While Justin might look like the picture of innocence, he leaves a path of terror wherever he goes.
His senior year starts off like all the others, him and his best friend sticking their noses up at everyone else while they bask in their own glory. But when a handsome new student catches Justin’s eye, he recruits the likes of a smart-mouthed kid named Connor to help him in his mission to capture the heart of the attractive newcomer. When Justin is finally forced to face himself and the truth behind his self-centered universe, it feels like the sky comes crashing down.
Justin is a self-centered but lovable 17 year old who wants only one thing – to meet and spend the rest of his life with Andrew, the new kid in school. With the aid of another new student, Connor, Justin is on his way to getting his dream fulfilled. However, things take an interesting turn, and Justin must look beyond his own needs in order see where love truly lies.
Although not my first, I quite enjoyed this little foray into the male/male YA genre. Outshine the Stars is a sweet, quick read with characters that have just enough snark to make them interesting, yet not so much that their irreverence is off-putting. I enjoyed the humorous introduction to Justin, in particular, and the description of his instant friendship with his BFF Gwen is entertaining and refreshing. Enter Connor, the adorable newcomer with a mysterious connection to Justin’s crush Andrew, and the interactions are delightful and heartwarming.
Besides a few minor editing issues, the writing is clean and well-paced and highly appropriate for younger readers (i.e. no sex scenes and one kissing scene). Nash Summers captures the voices and universe of teens well, giving them credit for having insight and focus while at the same time displaying their need to be taken down a peg or two at times, as we all do. I found it quite easy to connect with the characters, and I was pleased with Justin’s revelations about those around him and about himself. His growth was well-portrayed and believable despite the length of the story, and I was relieved to see that his original attributes weren’t compromised too much by the changes he had undergone by the end.
Outshine the Stars is a sweet, entertaining, if slightly predictable short story that captured my heart in a variety of ways. I would recommend it for young adult readers as well as more mature audiences who enjoy stories about young men finding love – and the goodness in themselves.
I would like to thank Queerteen Press 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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