Adam Young is a devout, young Mormon following the pious path set forth for him by his church and family. But when his mission trajectory sends him to Barcelona, Spain, with a handsome mission companion named Brandon Christensen, Adam discovers there may be more to life and love than he ever expected.
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*I received the book in exchange for an honest review*
CW: explicit homophobia, a lot of religion talk (not sure if it should be in CW, but better to be sure, right? 😉 )
This is one of the books I received when I began to review books and to my surprise I have discovered I had not written a proper review for it, just a short one on NetGalley. So I decided it was time to reread it and write a proper review.
I also want to say that while I did meet some Mormons, my knowledge about the finer points of Church’s working and dogma is a mystery to me. What I know are the beginnings of their religion via videos they had for converting and that they were very nice, but way too pushy and persistent, kept calling me for months after I decided not to join them.
Okay, so now about the book. I LOVED it. Adam comes from a bad family, extremely religious one, but also very overzealous and striving to be perfect in all they do. No hugging or other personal touching for most of the time. Being sticklers for everything, that kind of family.
When Adam goes on a mission to Spain and meets Brandon Christensen, everything he knows is shaken. Brandon has been raised in a religious but loving family and is open, caring leader and a friend. He questions a lot of things but it does seem normal. I questioned a lot of things especially later when I distanced from my father’s parents’ religion (Catholic). Is it not normal to wonder about finer points? Struggling to understand things and needing to discuss them?
The book is incredibly slow-burn. And it fits. Adam at first, is in a complete denial of so many things, even reluctant at the lightest personal contact such as bumping shoulders and similar. So it takes him a long time to get comfortable with Brandon, to become actual friends with him.
While I do not think scenes are too explicit, the two have some fun quoting things during it, and their naivety also shows in the phrasing. They have problems articulating things, and they avoid ‘crude’ words (such as ‘cock’ or ‘dick’), but refer to them more…they get around without using them.
And through the whole book, I was afraid. I knew that ‘the moment’, the time when they were discovered will come. And it totally did, with all the consequences one can imagine. I did like Adam’s attitude at court, as well as Brandon’s family, and their acceptance of both their son and Adam, and their relationship.
I loved the book so much, although all those discussions and the many pieces of information about the faith were slightly…annoying, but they did have point. So yes, it totally deserves five stars 🙂