This is one of those books that should never be understated. Where You Are handles with incredible sensitivity a tale of forbidden love. At times it is profoundly emotional and deeply moving. I have read three m/m romances in the past month, and this is the one that I would recommend. In fact, out of my 2012 selection, this is the book I would recommend all my followers read.
The subject matter is controversial, a romance between a teacher and his student, but is treated with such delicacy that you never forget for a moment that these characters are human. The fact that all the characters seems so real is what makes Trumble’s work a real gem. Even the minor characters who don’t get any spotlight feel like they could be people that you actually know. After a while, you really just want to root for these characters to find a way to make things work.
Robert Westfall is a fairly popular kid at school, with his own fanclub even, but his life at home is falling apart. His father is dying, their relationship was strained to begin with, and his aunts are doing their best to take over his life. All for the good of his poor, suffering father, of course. Oh, and he’s pretty sure his boyfriend is only with him for bragging rights. Chances are you knew a version of Robert when you were in High School. You might even have been Robert. Andrew is a math teacher, specifically Robert’s Calculus teacher, who has a complicated relationship with his ex-wife, an even more complicated history with past relationships, and students who hate him for no other reason then he’s their teacher.
The most memorable part of the story is the relationship development. There are mentions of sex, but non of it is explicit and all of it happens off screen, making this book suitable for mature young adults. It starts when Andrew tries to reach out to Robert in regards to his home situation. From there it progresses into exchanging cell numbers, spending time together outside of school and eventually evolving into a sexual relationship against their better judgement. This book in no way romanticizes student/teacher relationships, in fact, Andrew spends a good deal of time analyzing the consequences of his actions, but instead asks the reader to look at it from a different angle. Instead of automatically labeling the teacher as a sexual predator or the student as morally loose, it reminds readers that the people involved in these types of situations are only human, and there might be a good deal more going on than what the media wants to suggest.
This book is like the best bubble bath every experienced and has definitely put Trumble on my to-watch list.
I received Where You Are from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
- A New Novelist & Wonderful LGBT Advocate (bilerico.com)