Andy Montgomery fell hard for West Baxter when they were college roommates. Despite initially dreading having to room with the popular, smart, incredibly attractive, and charming jock, Andy soon falls under West’s spell and they form a fast friendship. As their friendship grows, so does Andy’s crush on him. He’s got it bad but there’s a huge problem – West is very, very straight. A point proved time and again as Andy witnesses the steady stream of girls West brings back to their dorm room. But that doesn’t stop Andy from pining over West for years, often to the detriment of his own well-being. But then one day, to Andy’s complete shock, West peeks his head out of the closet and Andy learns this crush may not be as one-sided as he once thought.
Recently, a few Instagram accounts I follow were talking about this book (and its follow-up – Requited) and it sounded right up my alley so I decided to seek it out. It took a few days to figure out how to get a copy, I couldn’t find it on Amazon but it turns out that if you sign up for the author’s mailing list, they’ll send you a copy! So that’s what I did and I dove right in. The first thing I noticed was the narration style, it’s not what I’m used to reading. In the author’s bio, they say they “strive to take the reader into the mind of the narrator” and I think that’s the best way to describe it. It was first person, from Andy’s POV but it almost felt like reading Andy’s diary or something. I’m not complaining about it, I actually really enjoyed it. For being a book spanning a decade, things moved fast, it felt like we just hit the highlights but at the same time, it didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything. I don’t know if any of what I just said makes any sense, but if you read this (or have already read it) hopefully you’ll get what I’m trying to say!
Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the story itself. If you like angst and epic pining, this book’s got you covered! Andy had it bad for West from very early on but there was very little indication from West’s side that their friendship was anything more than platonic. West was a great friend to Andy and there’s no doubt he loved him as his friend but Andy wanted more and tortured himself with that want for over 10 years!! His other friends suggested he distance himself from West if only to save his own sanity, but Andy could never leave West behind. It was painful seeing what Andy resorted to in an effort to try and get over West and seeing him stand by West through all these life milestones was kind of heartbreaking.
But then one day West makes a confession that changes everything and we see how beautiful it is once they finally do get together. It’s crazy how bad West was for Andy for so many years (through no fault of West’s, but Andy just couldn’t cope sometimes with his unrequited crush) and then seeing how good he could be for him when they were finally on the same page. There were some confessions made that will make you want to knock their heads together, if they had communicated better all those years earlier, things could have gone quite differently. I hear that the follow-up has a twist and explores what could have been different if they had only made one decision differently and I’m very curious to see what exact moment that is!
I’m glad I sought out this book, it was a solid read. The last quarter or so was well worth the angst that came before it, I really enjoyed these characters and I’m looking forward to picking up Requited to get a peek into West’s side of the story!