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Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble (ARC REVIEW)

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication date: Dec. 27, 2011
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Format: ARC
Pages: 337
Source: Borrowed from Brent @ The Naughty Book Kitties
Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, honest, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.

But when Adam graduates and takes an Off-Broadway job in New York—at Nate’s insistence—that certainty begins to flicker. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it is the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.

J.H. Trumble’s debut, DON’T LET ME GO, is a witty, beautifully written novel that is both a sweet story of love and long-distance relationships, and a timely discourse about bullying, bigotry, and hate in high schools.

I'm not sure what I expected from Don't Let Me Go, but I didn't get it - I got more. TEN TIMES MORE. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh!!!!! This book is, like, three billion different kinds of perfect. It goes where few YA books dare to go, and goes there SO GOOD. I seriously haven't stopped thinking about it since I started it! It was stunning and heart-breaking and so painfully real.

I feel this book will definitely bring many people out of their comfort zones. It touches on subjects that people generally shy away from: homosexuality, parental abuse, prejudice, extreme bigotry and bullying, and loooooots of sex. But I think anyone who has enough balls to pick this book up and read it will fall head over heels for it like I have. I read the first paragraph and I was GONE. I was done for. Totally hooked. I kept making my dad mad because I would stay up too late on school nights to read it. I kept making my teachers mad because I wouldn't stop reading while they were trying to teach. I kept making my friends mad because I put in my headphones and ignored them while I read it. I loved it that much.

The plot was great, obviously, but what really made the book for me was the characters and the emotional punch that they packed.

There is Nate,  and he has some serious issues. His dad pretty much disowned him when he came out of the closet (but he was a total douche long before that); his boyfriend (AND SOUL MATE!!!!) moved to New York to take an acting job that sucked up all of his time and involved other hot gay guys that were frequently naked or shirtless and totally crushing on him; Nate is still kind of recovering from some intense emotional damage and trauma; and everyday he goes to school he has to face passionate protesters and homophobes. He gets jealous easily, has a tendency to hurt himself,  and he doesn't believe in himself at all. But he's so sweet and strong and determined, and I loved him so much. Even when I hated him.

Then there was Adam. We don't see a lot of present-Adam, because he is off in New York pretty much throughout the entire novel, but we do see past-Adam who is crazy and funny and sweet and one hundred percent dedicated to Nate.

Danial was awesome. Just totally and completely awesome. He was hilarious and supportive (and a MAJOR tease!!!). First, he was there for Nate. He stuck around and protected him throughout everything. Even when it meant that he had to withstand the criticism and spite. Even when boundaries were crossed. Even when people thought he was gay as well, even though he was "straight as an arrow." Then, when he felt that Nate no longer needed him, he was there for Luke. AND BOY DO I HAVE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT LUKE. I didn't mind him at first. Sure, he was slightly creepy and a tad pathetic, but it was so easy to feel bad for him. He'd never had a boyfriend before and he was freshly embracing his sexual orientation. But then. Oh oh oh oh, thennnnnn. Not only does he begin to border on pathetic (because HELLO everyone could tell that Nate and Adam were going to be together forevzzzz!!!!!) but he does something completely unforgivable. I'm not heartless, so I still feel HORRIBLE for certain events that involved him, but I hate him. I really do.

All of the more minor characters were great as well. There were Adam's parents with their unwavering support and kindness, Nate grandmother who decides she needs to learn more about what gay people do, Juliet who was sort of a walking contradiction to herself (one minute she was throwing herself at Nate, and the next she was talking about how perfect Adam and Nate were for each other and how they were obviously meant for each other), and Mr. Wolf who dealt with a lot of shit from Nate and still supported him.

The writing was absolutely stunning. It has a way of sucking you in and twisting your emotions. I loved it. I couldn't get enough. There were scenes that should have made me uncomfortable, but were just amazing and perfect and great. Nothing is sugar-coated. It is all stated blatantly. The progress of the novel is natural and smooth and that's what adds to the relentless realness of this book.

I will be reading more of Trumble's work.

playlist is in the back of the book and J.H. Trumble even wrote which scene that song described.

This book was just fabulous. Easily glided it's way into my favorite books of 2011 (maybe EVER). I loved it so much. SO FREAKING MUCH. And I need more of it. I will be buying the final copy, and I will be reading it over and over and over again. Reader discretion is advised. Like I said, nothing is sugar-coated, and though it is a YA novel, and though I am only 15 and I FREAKING ADORED IT,  would definitely say this is more fitting for older readers. But seriously, swipe away any hesitation you have of reading this book and just crack it open. I promise you that you will not regret it, and I believe that with every fiber of my being.


  1. I'm completely blown away by your response to DLMG and specifically to the characters! I have to admit, I feel the same way about them. Wow, what a thorough and insightful review. I'm so glad you liked it. I promise you something else equally as awesome in 2012. Oh, and be gentle with Luke; you may see him again :). And just to set the record straight,DLMG is being published as an adult novel.

  2. This book sounds great! I love books that just push you out of your comfort zone and test your limits; these are usually the books that have me thinking long after I read them. Thanks for the great review! :)

  3. LOL, after your review, I will be getting this book. I probably won't let my daughters read it if contains sex scenes. I can tell you really loved this book and some of the characters (some you did not). It sounds like an enjoyable read. Thanks for review.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi