Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where Are You and Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble Review and Interview

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.



Don't Let Me Go is one of those stories that will stay with you long after you have read it. I read this book in one day on Saturday October 06, 2012 and I have to say it has taken me this long to write the review for several reasons. The first being I do not want to put to many spoilers in it because I hate when I really want to read a book and then I look it up on goodreads and there is the ending right there. The second reason is because Adam's character really and I mean REALLY PISSED ME OFF!!!!!!!!!! Never ever has a character brought out that much anger in me. Then thirdly my mind could not shut this book and the characters out. I kept doing this instant replay and then I would be folding the clothes or watching TV and my mind would wander back to Nate then to Luke and then to Daniel. I even found myself listening to the playlist all weekend and trying to imagine how certain characters felt.
This is a story for all Gay and Lesbian and transsexuals to read. It is about love and loss and hate and finding out whop you are in this difficult part of your life. As if being a teenager was not bad enough add on to it that you are gay and are scared to death to come out because you don't know what is going to happen. Nate has always known he is gay and he just wants to get through high school and get to college where he can meet a nice boy to date. Where he can be free to be himself and act how he wants and not have to worry about his family and friends condemning him. 

Only Nate gets a surprise when he meets another boy Adam at his school. Adam is a senior and he is best friends with Jules who is in love with Nate. They start hanging out together and before you know it Adam tells Nate he likes him. As the two discover their mutual feelings for one another they have to make a decision on whether or not they will come out of the closet or stay in there. They decide to come out of the closet and have an open relationship and it costs them. One of them will be brutally attacked and the other will be left to pick up the pieces and try and keep their relationship together.

After this tragedy that has happened Nate and Adam are even closer. They are Ying and Yang. Soon though there relationship will be tested and tried and one of them will experience life differently than the other. See Adam is going to New York and Nate has given him his blessing. Even though Nate does not want Adam to leave he will let him leave so he can find his way in life and Nate wants Adam to have everything. Nate does not want to hold Adam back because he does not want Adam to look back and say you held me back from pursuing my dreams. So Nate lets Adam go to New York and Adam promises to come back for holidays.

Nate still being in high school misses Adam so much. They went from spending everyday together to only phone calls at first and then skypeing and then nothing. Something changes for Adam and Nate is left wondering what is going on. Then Nate meets Daniel at the music store and they quickly become friends. Daniel has a secret of his own and starts to hang out with Nate even though everyone thinks they are dating they are just friends. They become best friends and that shocks Nate because being gay means you can't have any boys that are friends because it means you want them in a sexual way. Such small mindedness on the account of the guys because gay does not mean they want every guy.

So Nate and Daniel become quick friends and Daniel helps Nate start a blog to vent his frustration of being gay and being separated from Adam. At first it is innocent and then Nate encourages other people who are gay or lesbian to come out of the closet and be who they want to be with no worries. That is when Nate meets one of his blog followers and they get close. Nate encourages him to be open with his sexuality preference. As this other boy learns to come out of the closet he and Nate start dating and Nate realizes what it is like to be the other boy because he was just like him until Adam showed him how to live life as he wanted to. As Nate and this other boy start hanging out and testing the boundaries Nate has to come to grips with what his relationship with Adam really is. 

There are so many twists and turns in this story that even as I write this review I am crying. Nate and Adam have to come to terms with what has happened between the two of them. Adam will have to truly dig deep and see what it is he wants out of Nate. Nate will find himself and he will learn to stand up on his own with no one to help. Nate will find a friendship that means a lot to him and he will experience love outside of Adam that scares him.

Don't Let Me Go causes you to look at love and relationships in a new light. How is it that you love someone so much you put your whole life on hold for them? How is it that a new relationship can open your eyes and make you see what you had in front of you may have been a lie. J.H. has done a EPIC job with this story. I love Nate, Adam, Luke, Daniel, and Jules!


“I’ll never understand why some people can’t just let others live their lives, you know,” Danial said. “You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to agree. Just leave people alone. When I look at the moon and planets and stars, all that narrow-mindedness and hate seem so petty. The universe is such a big place. One hundred thousand light years just from one end of the Milky Way to the other. One hundred. Thousand. Light years. In the time it’s taken for light to travel from one end of our galaxy to the other, thousands of generations have passed. It really makes you realize how small we are, doesn’t it? How short our time on earth is.” 

“It's still not perfect, and maybe perfection isn't all it's cut out to be anyway. But it's good. It's really good. They say you can't always get what you want. But sometimes you can, and you do, even when you 
don't deserve it.” 

Robert Westfall's life is falling apart-everywhere but in math class.
That's the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the
world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is
squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive,
and the career path that's been planned for him feels less appealing
by the day.

Robert's math teacher, Andrew McNelis, watches his best student
floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between
professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert's friend,
then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship-in
school and out of it-deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to
resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that
holds incalculable risks for both of them.

J.H. Trumble, author of the acclaimed Don't Let Me Go, explores a
controversial subject with extraordinary sensitivity and grace,
creating a deeply human and honest story of love, longing, and
unexpected connection.



I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Kensington Publishing for sending me this ARC. I read this book in eight hours and I have to say that I could not put it down. It is so AMAZING I have never read something so heart wrenching and so gut wrenching! I laughed and I cried and I screamed at the book because it was like I was there. Yes this story has some issues that people will say are not right but I say to them PISS OFF! This story is about a love, loss and everything in between when it comes to teens. It is also a story about love true raw unadulterated love between two guys. I loved this story and I just finished reading it and my head is so full with things to say and I am trying so hard not to place spoilers so I won't.

Where You Are is a story about about a young man named Robert whose father is dying of Cancer and Robert and his mother are trying to keep it together. It is his senior year in high school and Robert just wants to graduate and go on to college where he can live his life free of the guilt he carries in regards to his father. Robert loves school and when he starts to fall behind in math his math teacher decides to befriend him and help him stay on track. Robert also has to deal with the fact that his boyfriend is acting weirder by the minuet but that's okay because Robert knows that once he gets to college he will meet other guys and have other friendships and relationships. What Robert doesn't factor in this equation is falling in love with his math teacher.

As we all know teachers are forbidden to be with their students. That is a big no no and when Robert falls for his teacher Mr McNelis aka Drew he is not sure the teacher feels the same way. So when Mr McNelis and Robert start to get closer and and Drew consoles him after his father dies Robert knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with him. Drew is not sure how he and Robert are going to be together but he knows he wants no one else in his life. Then if life could not add anymore lemons to Robert and Drews lemonade something big happens to Drew and he and Robert have to figure out a way to be together.

To Andrew teaching is his life. He loves to help students and he loves to give back by teaching. His life has not always been easy but he has always had his best friend by his side and with his best friend he has created the one bright spot in his life and that is his daughter. Once he realized he was gay he decided to divorce his best friend and just go back to being friends with her for the sake of his daughter. He loves her and will do anything to make her happy. So when he opens up to Robert he is terrified by his feelings because Robert is a student and he is his teacher. But what are you to do when you have such strong feelings for someone that you feel like you could die if you don't see them? Andrew will have to figure all this out and then he will have to make decisions that will make him or break him. What will Andrew decide?

They will face prejudices and they will face trials and tribulations. Are they strong enough to stand up to the people who mean to do them harm? Is Andrew strong enough to fight the feelings he has for Robert? Will Robert fight his feelings for Andrew? Come along with Robert and Andrew as they find their way through this maze called life. This book is BRILLIANT! 2012 MUST READ!

Today we have a special guest on A Diary of a Book Addict. She is a great author of two books that totally blew me away. I am so grateful to Kensington Publishing for sending me an ARC copy of one of her books. So without further ado let’s welcome J.H. Trumble author of Don’t Let Me Go and Where You Are. J.H. I have to say that I was completely blown away by Where You Are so after reading it in six hours I read Don’t Let Me Go and I could not stop laughing and crying because you’re writing is so passionate about a subject that is so taboo in today’s society. You write about teenage boys who are gay and are finding themselves. I have so many questions I would like to ask you but I promise I won’t ask too many. 

Where You Are 

Robert was very quiet and kept to himself why did he not share things with someone? 

I think Robert is just kind of a quiet guy, but well liked. He did have a pretty close friend in Luke Chesser, but Luke was dating Curtis. Nic was not interested in his problems or anyone else’s. And I guess the dark things that Robert was feeling were not things he wanted to share with those closest to him. What would they think. He saw something different in Andrew. Maybe it was Andrew’s extra years, the fact that he wasn’t a peer, that allowed Robert to open up to him. I think Robert truly saw him as a safe, strong, steady hand he could hold onto. 

Why was Robert really dating Nic? Initially, he liked him. 

In Just Between Us (October 2013) you’ll learn a little more about how that relationship came about. Nic is nice looking, smart, and very sweet when he wants to be. He and Robert were lab partners for awhile. Robert got a chance to get to know his sweeter side and maybe he was a little amused by Nic. 

What happened to Robert and his father’s relationship? 

It never got off the ground. His father was self-centered, immature, the baby of the family and too tightly connected to his older sisters. His cancer diagnosis just intensified all those negatives. He also seemed to be embarrassed by his own son (the bed-wetting). 

When did Robert realize he was in love with Andrew? 

That’s a good question. Hmm, I imagine he was moving down that path when the novel opens, but I think what clinched it for him was sitting in Jack-in-the-Box and sharing his darkest secrets. Andrew took his hand. I think Robert knew then. 

What made Andrew reach out to Robert? 

Because Robert reached out to him. Because he was a great student and troubled. There was no intent to be anything but a soft place to land for a kid who was falling fast. 

Why was Andrew so scared to reveal his feelings to Robert besides the fact that he was his teacher? 

I think there was some fear that Robert’s crush was just a passing thing. 

Yes, absolutely. His own experience told him that a student crush on a teacher was a fleeting thing. But the fact that he was Robert’s teacher trumped that. Despite the mistakes he made, Andrew was a good, honorable man, just as his dad told him. 

What did Kevin do to Andrew to hurt him so bad? 

I think that was addressed in the novel. Essentially, he used and abused him, and then threw him away. 

That’s pretty much it. He was Andrew’s first relationship. I think when it was over, Andrew was steeped in shame. He allowed it. He thought he was special, but turned out he was just a receptacle for a rather depraved older guy. Hard to get past that. 

When did Andrew realize he was truly in love with Robert?

 I would imagine that he knew when they sat by that fountain at SHSU. 

I think you’re right. He already had a little crush on him, but they made a much deeper connection that day. Robert was so vulnerable. It became very personal for Andrew after that. 

Do Andrew and Robert get married? Would you like them to get married? 

Hell, yes! To both J 

Don’t Let Me Go 

Why did Nate really tell Adam to go to New York? 

He loved Adam and wanted him to pursue his dreams. He didn’t want to be the reason Adam didn’t. 

Why did Adam act like a jerk the whole time he was in New York? 

Adam didn’t act like a jerk. He just didn’t anticipate how Nate would react to his absence, to his roommates, to his living the New York life. But he was never a jerk. He did get frustrated with Nate a few times. Nate was frequently irrational, saying one thing but meaning another. And Adam didn’t read minds. 

What made Nate decide to date Luke? 

He saw some of himself in Luke. And he was hurt. Simple as that. 

Why was Luke so scared to come out of the closet even when he had Nate in his corner? 

Gay was not okay in his home, at least not with his dad. And coming out is a scary thing. But he did. When Nate needed him, he came out. 

Did Daniel really like Nate as a boyfriend? 

No way. Friends. That’s all. Good friends. Friends for life. Danial felt a connection to Nate because of the loss of his own gay brother. I think he needed to be there for him the way he couldn’t be there for his brother. 

Did Nate break Luke’s heart? 

Yes. But Luke is resilient. You’ll see in Just Between Us how he coped. 

Why did Adam think he could come back from New York and claim Nate as his own? 

Did Nate really love Luke? 

Because there was no reason for them to be apart. Adam didn’t understand what was going on with Nate. He was dating Luke, rubbing it in Adam’s face, making crazy accusations. And there was nothing Adam could do about it from New York. So as soon as he could, he came home to see for himself. But as soon as he saw Nate, he knew things weren’t over between them. 

When did Nate realize he could not live without Adam? 

The day he met him. Okay, maybe not. But I do believe they were soul mates. And actually, near the end of the novel he did realize that he could live without him. He just didn’t want to. That was part of Nate’s growth. 

Did Adam really do things with Justin? 

Oh, ick! No. 

How did Justin find out about Nate? 

Most likely eavesdropping. Adam discussed Nate with one of his other roommates, one who was on Nate’s side. 

Was Luke in love with Nate? 

Most definitely. Puppy love. 

When Luke and Nate got together why did Luke want Nate so badly? Why did he have to be his first? 

Just because he was his first. He wanted to hold on to Nate. Even if it was just for a little while. It’s hard to let go of your first love, especially one who was so instrumental in helping you find yourself. 

What happened to Luke when he left for the other town? 

Aaah, you’ll have to read Just Between Us to find out. But you do know at the end of Don’t Let Me Go that Luke found true love with Curtis. 

J.H. thank you so much for stopping by and answering some questions. I could go on and on but I think I will re-read both books and wear out the pages with laughter and crying. What are you working on next? And is there a Luke and Curtis story in the making because I just love Luke to pieces!

 Yes! It’s called Just Between Us and will be on the shelves in October 2013.


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