Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Say Something
Author: B.A. Tortuga
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 226 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press and Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it’s too late.
First, the blurb suggests that Jenson and Mike don’t know how the other feels. This just isn’t true. Right from the beginning, Mike and Jenson are together, but Jenson can’t admit the truth, growing up in the small, homophobic Texas town they live in. Mike ends up beaten up for being gay and goes off to an East Coast school to major in drama, while Jenson ends up staying behind. Both are already heartbroken they can’t be together.
Later, Jenson visits Mike in college, and Mike thinks this will be the time when Jenson commits to him and leaves Texas behind so the two can end up together. Nope. Sure, they admit they’re still in love and get “busy,” but in actuality, Jenson is only up there to tell Mike he got his high school girlfriend pregnant and he’s getting married in three days.
More time passes, and Mike is called to Jenson when Jenson’s son is diagnosed with cancer. They hook up again but separate because Jenson still can’t be with Mike in the way they both want.
More time passes, now Mike is famous and finally moving on with someone new. This time there’s no getting together but both still harbor deep feelings for each other.
More time passes, and Mike is alone again, but it’s still not the right time.
Finally, another calamity draws the two together, and this time it sticks. They are both in the right place at the right time.
On the one hand, the premise behind the story is a good one. Watching two guys, already in love, navigate their very different lives in the way each thinks they must, though neither has it just right. Both are flawed in their thinking, and neither gives the other as much importance as they’d need to live the life they chose.
On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a really good reason for our boys to stay apart. This was hard to read. I had a really tough time understanding the motivation of either MC, but especially Jenson. Once he and his wife had divorced, I saw little reason for him to remain tied to Texas when, clearly, Mike was out and proud and making a good life for himself in a way that could absolutely include Jenson. It wasn’t as though Jenson wrestled with his sexual identity to himself, only publicly.
I just kept wanting to hit him on the head and say “you don’t deserve to be happy you dumb-shit”. Mike was mostly a love struck guy who kept pinning his hopes on Jenson, but vain enough to think his career was his only identity and thus the only thing of importance.
When the two finally do end up together, it is lack-luster at best. Even though EVERY SINGLE drama that you can think of happens to them, the story was not very moving. Something as profound as near-death experiences and actual deaths left me pretty cold. I just never felt the two had any more than a sophomoric passion for the other, their relationship was never really shown as anything more than f*ck-buddies who met up every 3-5 years or so to get it on, but nothing strong enough to keep them together.
I think if the author had taken more time to develop the in-between times, let us see more of who they were apart, then shown us how much “better” it was when they were together, I would have been more invested in the story. As it was, we saw small glimpses of them as they faced major crises that they never seemed to grow from and incomprehensible yet indestructible forces that kept them apart.
I can’t really recommend the book, but I can say the idea has merit, and the writing and editing were sound, but the plot just wasn’t fleshed out very well.
I give it a 2.5 of 5 stars, it was okay; disappointing more than bad.
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*