A broken person can always be healed. You just need to find the person who will love you wholly and truthfully.
This book left me feeling numb, and though that would normally be a bad thing. With this book it was completely a good thing. This is a book that lives with you after you have finished. It can break you and put you back together, only to break you again with a few minutes notice. It is not to be read on a bad day and needs to be read by more and more people until there is no one who has read it. I cannot explain well enough how beautiful and thought provoking this book is. Every time I read this book I am left feeling changed inside. It is something that needs to be experienced in order to understand.
Crush, is a book about two men. Tammy and Jamie have known each other since high school. Or so we are lead to believe. But in fact they met years before. That was really the moment I fell in love. That singe scene at the grocery story when they were babies was enough. Something in that had me loose my heart and the boys held it until I had finished the last page and ever since they have held it. Nothing could have taken from the book. Sometimes a book like this is needed to get a topic out there.
Jamie and Tammy have loved and lost and loved again. But never in the course of this book did they lose their love for each other. Never did it break them beyond repair. They always had their love, even when they didn't realize it themselves. It was something incredible sweet and poignant. I wanted to cry so much during this book, but I was not able to. Tears could not come for them. Instead my heart shattered and broke with theirs and healed when theirs did. Through the book their love kept me reading and unable to put this wonderful story down. Even when we are broken we are never truly doomed to be broken forever. We can heal, but for that we need that person to love us.
When the boys loved in this book I felt it. The sex scenes were almost as sad as some of the other scenes. Jamie's thoughts and feelings during those times were conflicted. It was depressing (in a good way) to read how he felt. After the attack they became more romantic. After they had truly begun to heal I stopped wanting to cry during them. They were erotic and true but they also had a loving side to them. Something that is not shown enough in mm romances. I truly believed they became one when they had sex. It was something that caught me off guard after the first sex scene.
The abuse in this book is horrific. I read Touch Me Gently and Dream Boy. But this book managed to be even more heart breaking than those two combined. I was prepared and then I was not. Abuse is never an easy topic to discuss. But this covered that and did it so well. Jamie was tortured and destroyed by the people who were supposed to love him the most. In my mind I felt that his parents should have been shot and I would have been willing to do it. What they did was sick, disgusting and gruesome. But what they did happens, and no matter how hard we deny it. Jamie's parents are in our world. Just disguised to blend in with people and not on the pages of a book.
Rape is a controversial subject. This book approaches it in different ways. There was Jamie's experiences with rape and then there was Tammy's. Both are real and both are heartbreaking and both happen in real life. The difference is their reactions. Jamie turned to God and Tammy self destructed. In this though some may hate Tammy for his reaction to the abuse, he was only a child. Every child acts differently and both boys in this handled their grief their own way. That is something that they should not be hated for.
Religion is a strong feature in this book. But it's not shoved down the readers throat. If it had I would have been discouraged by this book. But it was done tastefully and really added to the experience. Jamie's survival was partly down to his ever strong belief in God. It helped me understand him as a person and made me smile for him, it was his own way of handling things. Of dealing with the past and connecting with something that made him thankful. Something that made him appreciate what he had. I could not understand it, but it was Jame. It was such a nice thing to see.
Tammy was the polar opposite in that sense. He didn't believe in God and so that made his views different again. I related to Tammy better in that sense. He was not someone who had their belief to help them, he didn't understand why things happened and he had to find his own way in the world. Jamie had the belief that God does things for a reason. God saved Jamie. Although I believe in God, I am not the most religious, and I find it harder to connect with a character who is completely devoted to God. But the way Jamie and Tammy differed I understood and connected with them on that level. Laura Susan Johnson did a wonderful job with both aspects of belief.
The secondary characters in this added the good and the bad to the story. There were friends and foe in this and the good and the evil. But never was there a character that was not needed. Tammy's mother and Jamie's "sister" Stacey. Those were two of the more positive characters, Lloyd was another character who although we did not see a lot of was Jamie's "hero" in the beginning. He was someone I was truly thankful for in this story. The strong sense of family and love in this was beautiful and through the family, characters came alive for me.
If you want to believe everything in life is good and that children stay innocent and are always protected. Do not read this book! This book will point out the flaws in the world. It will show everything that would kill a child. It will break you and put you on the edge of your seat. It will show the journey of two abused children right into adulthood. It will show you the innocence and childishness of people who have suffered to the last. Who grew up too soon but never really grew up at all. It's a book that will never be matched and something the author should be proud of.
Laura Susan Johnson has written a beautiful book. It is a book that I could personally read again and again, and take something from it each time. Nothing but beautiful could describe it and although some of the topics are not beautiful the true love aspect is. I highly recommend this book. Read this and be prepared to change, it's not easy and may take some time to read. But this is one of those special books. Laura Susan Johnson is an amazing author and I cannot wait to read more and more from her. She has written a treasure and exposed the world to a magnificent story.
I am sorry for the long rant. But this book deserves every positive thing and more. I'm not sure I will ever be able to do this book justice. It all has to be said time and time again. The reviews that are here are proof of that. It will be a book that will get to the top eventually and it will be discussed more and more. I'm not sure any book will leave me with the same emotions as this one has. This one will always remain in my heart. Read it and fall in love just like I did.