Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: When Ryan Came Back
Author: Devon McCormack
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 230 Pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: October 16, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Steven’s life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.
Ryan tells Steven that he didn’t kill himself. He believes he was murdered and that his death is linked to an article he was working on for the school paper. Steven sets out to solve the mystery, but as the story unfolds, so does Ryan’s secret life of sex with guys and depression. Steven realizes suicide is more plausible than Ryan’s conspiracy theory, but he struggles to convince Ryan of the real cause of his death. And despite revelations of his friend’s closeted life, he must face the truth that Ryan doesn’t—and never will—love him.
*This review may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.*
When his best friend dies, Steven is devastated but also strangely numb to it all. But when Ryan shows up in his room unexpectedly, Steven is beyond freaked especially when Ryan tells him that he didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. Badgered into finding out the truth, Steven goes in search of answers but the more Steven investigates, the more he realizes he didn’t know Ryan at all. Even still, Steven is determined to get answers and in doing so, he may have discovered way more than he bargained for.
It’s hard for me to write this review because there’s aspects of the story I really enjoyed and there’s parts that I didn’t.What I loved about the story is the author’s writing. It’s very engaging and fast-paced so, even though I struggled at times (for very different reasons), I still had that urge to continue reading and to see what would happen next. The other thing I loved is Tyler, the second love interest. I really liked that he was a jock but also a little hesitant and eager when it came to Steven. He didn’t let other students dictate who his friends were or who he would talk to and it didn’t seem like he really cared if people found out he was gay. I honestly was hoping that Steven would end up with Tyler because he was such a great character and I was really bummed when that didn’t happen 😦
My biggest issue, though, is that I didn’t like Steven or Ryan. To me, it felt like Ryan was just using Steven and I never actually felt any of the supposed love that he had for Steven. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that Ryan has loved Steven for so long yet he never gave any hints of that love to Steven and, in fact, pretty much screwed every gay person at the school. Which made me wonder how rumors of Ryan being gay didn’t circulate. Not to mention that Ryan had been lying to Steven for years and keeping some other pretty huge secrets as well.
Beyond that, though, I didn’t like Steven as a character either. He was brash, stubborn and determined, which are great qualities in a character but every time Steven would land himself in a bad situation, it almost felt like he just surrendered and didn’t fight to get out of it until he literally was about to die. It aggravated me to the point that I yelled at my kindle for him to use the box cutters or to kick the guy in the balls, or to do ANYTHING to get out of the situation but he never did until he was on death’s door or captured. Even then, though, I didn’t really like that he would just rush into something without thinking or the fact that he was just as selfish as he was accusing his mom of being.
In the end, I struggled with my rating on this one because disliking the main characters is a huge problem when I read books. At the same time, I couldn’t ignore the fact that while I didn’t like the characters, I still couldn’t put the book down because it was so intense and suspenseful at times. I struggled in some parts but that was because I didn’t like the over-analyzing Steven would do when it came to Ryan and all his lies. So, I’m going neutral on this one and I encourage readers to pick this one up anyway because if the blurb intrigues you, give it a try and figure out for yourself whether it’s something you’ll like or not. With that said, I really hope the author considers giving Tyler a story of his own because I seriously loved that boy!
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*