I really don’t know what I was expecting when I started reading Private Display of Affection by Winter Sandberg. I hadn’t yet read any of her work. Well, this is, technically, her first novel, but she is the YA alter-ego of one Posy Roberts. I have been interested in Robert’s North Star series for a while (we had a little outtake from that here on PBA recently), so we connected about reviewing the series. As we were talking, she suggested I start with PDA. It is a YA adaptation of North Star #1, Spark, which is actually set about 17 years AFTER the events of PDA.
Title: Private Display of Affection
Author: Winter Sandberg
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.
At a summer job he meets and befriends Kevin Magnus, and before long, their friendship becomes something more. Kevin knows this will anger his overbearing father, so he decides to protect his secret by dating a girl at school.
Hugo plays along, but it’s still hard to watch the two of them together just to make Kevin’s homophobic father happy. And when Hugo’s father dies, he realizes he can’t go on living the lie. He comes clean to Kevin, who decides Hugo’s true feelings are more important than his father’s expectations.
One fact remains: Kevin and Hugo’s relationship must always be hidden behind friendship, lies, girlfriends, or secret kisses. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings?
Adapted as a Young Adult edition of the novel Spark by Posy Roberts, published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013
Oh Kevin, what are we going to do with you? Your father is a douche of the highest caliber, yet you can’t help but yield to his demands. You profess to have feelings for Hugo, but you can’t let anyone know. It is 1994, and you are about to be a Junior in high school. What are you to do?
Winter, my dear, you broke my heart into a thousand pieces. Oh yes, you mended it, but you took your sweet time doing so. Poor Hugo, all he wants is to be around Kevin. He is willing to sacrifice his own desires to keep his best friend in his life. Kevin just needs a wake up call. Unfortunately, it takes a lot for him to finally get that wake up call, and I am not entirely sure he ever truly gets it.
The fact that I am still talking to the characters (and the author) a full 15 hours AFTER I finished the novel, should tell you something. I loved this story. Hugo has so much love and support. He is so strong, even though he is going through some stuff no 13-16 year old should ever have to face. He knows himself. He knows what he can handle. Kevin, on the other hand, from the outside, has a picture perfect life but is a mess on the inside.
We get to see into the head of each of the boys. We get to understand their motivations for their choices. Even if we still shake our heads in dismay. We get to fall in love with two very different boys, who should never have to be apart. In the end, they aren’t… but this is high school, so we know their story is not yet done. Of course now I have to go read Spark… and Fusion… and Flare… gah! Such a hardship! 😉
I would like to thank the author 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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