I was looking forward to Perfect Friends Book 2 and having read it I want book 3 now!
Author: Liam Livings
Publisher: Wilde City
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
1999, Kieran, 18 is searching Australia, the New Forest and London for Prince Charming with new best friend, Jo. They sample some men, and march with Pride. What happens when you fall for a straight man? What’s Jo’s solution, and why doesn’t Kieran agree?
Kieran introduces Jo to his other best friends, Hannah, Grace and Kev. The others don’t think Jo’s quite so perfect, but that’s just Jo is, isn’t it?
Kieran and Jo go to university in London, and meet Irish students Sean and Andrew. Why does Kieran feel more alone than ever? Where has Jo disappeared with Andrew? Will Sean call Kieran back?
I really enjoyed Perfect Friends Book 1 and was looking forward to reading the next in the series. I enjoyed this one too although I think it suffered a little for being a bit too long. Now I still enjoyed this one but it was the typically English and gay reactions to life the universe and everything, which endeared me so to this series. I think book 2 would sometimes be a bit slow for readers who don’t have an English background.
As I do, I relished so many references to nightclubs, pubs and shops in London that I knew. However, everyone will recognise the sometimes gauche way we act when we are growing up, and experiencing our freedom for the first time. This was summed up by one short conversation for me;
“What’s that?” I asked, nodding to his blue firework of a drink, adorned with small umbrellas, fruit and twirls of fruit peel.
It’s a ‘Blue Lagoon’. Fabulous isn’t it? Everyone who sees me will know that I’m sophisticated and mature…
“What’s it like?”
I had the same conversation over a ‘Green Zombie’!!
There were a lot of fun highlights when Kieran and Jo ‘do’ Australia and I love Kieran’s family. There is an almost shy humour to this book, very different from the quite snarky, banter you find in American or Australian books of this kind. One of my favourite sections was when Kieran and Jo go to Sydney’s famous’ Mardi Gras’ with Keiran’s Mum and younger brother. I shan’t spoil the whole section but the extract I’ve chosen shows the gentle humour quite well, it falls at the end of a description about Kieran’s Mum’s outfit;
She waved a rainbow flag on which she had written – with some help from us on spelling – Straight Mum Proud Of My Gay Son – we all felt quite proud how it sort of rhymed, if we did the aural equivalent of squinting as Grace would have said.
Earlier I squealed with laughter at another banner for their LGBT youth club during London Pride in England;
‘Out! A friendly space for young people to be themselves in Wiltshire and parts of Hampshire.’ It could have done with a bit of editing.
This is the second book in the series and although I enjoyed a lot of the character development having read book 1 I think it could be read as an enjoyable stand alone, but why not follow Kieran’s journey through the trilogy?
This is a book of gentle humour and hidden hurts encountered whilst growing up. Gay or not we have all been through similar experiences trying to find our place in the world. Being gay adds some different obstacles and additional dangers but basically it’s a story we can all relate to. All is not humour and froth though, and I hurt for Kieran when he first goes to University after returning from his Gap year in Australia. The sense of loneliness is so profound and his ‘come on’ speech to himself is still very fresh and familiar in my memory, regarding my own daughter;
I reasoned it was a bit unreasonable of me to ask him to break off from making new friends to check on one of his older friends. I’d travelled around Australia, so moving to London would be easy right?…
…Everything close enough to touch, yet all I wanted to do was go to sleep.
Throughout the book we see who Kieran’s real friends are and how beautifully they help him, and he them, to navigate the rough and often lonely road to becoming an adult. I felt at ease for Kieran, as I came to the end of book 2 and then they slipped in the first few pages of chapter one Book 3 and now I can’t wait for it to come out in February 2015.
I would like to thank the publisher 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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