Lock is a shy, closeted sixteen-year-old boy, transplanted with his little brother and alcoholic mother to Atlanta. West is a rich classmate who’s watching his life spiral out of control. The two quickly realize there’s a spark between them, but can they explore it when everything in their lives conspires to drive them apart?
What I loved:
Pretty much everything. Told in rotating POV, we get so deep into the minds, the souls of Lock and West that I felt every soul-crushing heartbreak they did. From Lock’s struggles to come to terms with who he truly is, to West’s cavalier sexuality revealing a terrible secret, this story took me in so many different directions, each more tragic than the last.
Just as good were the female supporting characters: Lock’s awesome Aunt Jill, and West’s BFF Chels. Were it not for these two, the voice of reason in the maelstrom of chaos the MC’s lives become, this entire book might have one big depress-fest. I adored these two, and which there were more characters like them in similar books.
What I didn’t love:
Lock’s mother, West’s neglectful parents, and Blake, West’s sister’s fiancé. But then, that was kind of the point. I wanted to reach into the book and strangle all of these characters at some point.
I have to admit, some parts of this story were very difficult to read. They elicited such powerful emotions in me, and not always of the good kind. But that’s what great books do. So that’s not a knock, just a warning – if you read this book, be prepared.
My Final Verdict:
Lock & West is not only one of the best LGBTQ books I’ve ever read, but maybe one of the best YA books I’ve ever read. It’s laugh-out-loud funny in many spots, but filled without enough moments both tender and sad to keep you turning page after page. An absolutely brilliant piece of literary fiction.