Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-01-28
- Reviewer: Staff
In Trumble's second novel (after Don't Let Me Go), high school senior Robert Westfall appears to have it all: he's a good student, a member of the band, and has a popular boyfriend. When his father is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, however, he has nowhere to turn. His overbearing aunts monopolize his mother's attention and his boyfriend, Nic, spends most of his time with his cheerleader friends, telling Robert he "doesn't do sick people." It's Andrew McNelis, a young calculus teacher, who notices Robert's quiet suffering and offers his support. As Robert continues to seek Andrew out, their relationship turns romantic, breaking the teacher-student boundary and threatening both of their futures. While characters like Nic and Robert's aunts—who are obsessed with Robert becoming a doctor to carry on the "Westfall name"—are too one-note to be believable, the heart of the novel lies in the complicated, nuanced love between student and teacher. Andrew and Robert find solace in each other, daring to risk the consequences of their relationship being discovered. (Jan.)