Lindsay Moynihan, May 2013. Newly eighteen and a high-school dropout, Simon’s life couldn’t get a lot worse. His parents are dead; he lives with his older brother, who hates him for being gay; his twin brother, who’s unable to speak, depends on him completely; and his boyfriend has just been whisked away to anti-gay camp. But he’s made a good friend at work, Tina, and he sleeps with her, and then she takes him to visit the locked-up boyfriend. At this point, things get a little convoluted. A guy next door is selling cocaine, and the jerky older brother may or may not be involved, and then we learn the jerk’s girlfriend is pregnant, and then Simon and Tina and a lot of other grocery clerks are fired, and then all of a sudden Tina and a third, pretty cool brother move to Baton Rouge to go to school, and the twin brother is caught with 35 grams of coke in his pocket, and Simon borrows a car and moves out of town.
This book had potential at the beginning, but there’s just too much going on for any character development to feel natural. The jerk brother, for example, goes from angry and violent to hugging and sweetness without any actual reason. I wish the author had chosen to include fewer plots, maybe fewer characters, and let us get to know them and watch them grow up.