Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Love by the Numbers Review
Author: S.L. Danielson
Publisher: S.L. Danielson
American release date: May 2, 2011
Format/Genre Length: 118 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: 18+
Overall Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Jared Adamson is your typical blond jock—he’s into athletics more than he’s into academics. When his math teacher informs him that he’s about to fail, and thereby become ineligible for baseball come spring, he panics. Luckily, the old battleaxe has a solution—he can be tutored by Scott Williams, who just happens, unbeknownst to Jared, to have a crush on him! Will opposites attract or will Scott stay invisible to the hot blond forever?
Scott is a little overweight and self-conscious about the fact, as well as the fact that he’s never attracted anyone even slightly. He’s gay, and he’s out with his family, who are very supportive, but he tends to be reserved considering what he sees as his fatal flaws. On the other hand, he thinks Jared is extremely cute, but he knows Jared’s way out of his league, not to mention he’s straight, despite his mother’s ideas to the contrary.
Jared comes to Scott’s house for his study sessions; Scott’s mother, Margaret, embraces him warmly, almost like another son. The teen feels at home. It seems sometimes as if he tries to avoid going home. And he never wants to talk about his home life, or his dad. But if Scott questions him, he clams up and remains obstinately quiet.
The boys grow closer as the tutoring continues, developing a deep friendship. Jared refuses to accept Scott’s self-pitying concept of himself, encouraging him to lose weight and live a little. Scott wants to know more about what is bothering Jared, but he’s afraid to push and lose their friendship. He wishes it could be more. A lot more.
Senior year is a rollercoaster ride when you’re a teen with raging hormones. Make that two teens who are trying to figure out who they are, and how they want the world to perceive them, as well as one another. Can love grow in such an environment? Will Jared ever confide the truth to Scott about what his home life is truly like?
Love by the Numbers is a coming of age story about two teens finding one another, and finding something in each other that’s worth fighting for. If you’re a follower of Ms. Danielson’s, this is an earlier book of hers, and doesn’t reflect some of the later growth in her writing skills, which at this point were a little raw yet. So there are some points that could or should have been smoothed out. Some unbelievable family dynamics (sorry, I’m not a believer in the whole parents who not only openly espouse their child’s being gay but encourage them to sexually express themselves). But these are minor points, which do not detract from the story as a whole.
Ms. Danielson’s style is not flowery nor verbose. She writes in quick jabs, knows what she wants to say and says it. She gets to the heart of the matter, which is the relationship between these two boys, and being themselves. There’s a sequel, Life After Math, which I intend to read and review as well.