Note To Self: Just Don't Be Weird Lock is awkward. He can't make eye contact, counts when he's nervous and has to remind himself several times a day how 'normal' teens behave. Homeschooled most of his life, he's resigned himself to a friendless existence at his new Atlanta high school. Until he meets West. List Of Reasons Why My Life Is A Mess: How Much Time Do You Have? West has everything. Looks. Talent. Money. And secrets... so many secrets. Beneath the surface of West's perfect existence is a pain he's buried so deep a million therapists couldn't unearth it and he's determined to keep it that way. He's an actor. He can act normal. But then there's Lock. Sometimes Two Wrongs Can Be Right They don't fit. Their lives are equal but opposite disasters and the universe just keeps throwing obstacles in their path. Every time they are together they find it harder to say goodbye, harder to keep their secrets, harder not to lean on each other. But for this relationship to have a fighting chance, the two must stop trying to re-write the past and start figuring out how to build a future... together. Warning: This book deals with content which some readers may find disturbing such as eating disorders, past sexual abuse and post traumatic stress disorder.
Lock & WestFeatured
Eberhart has crafted a masterclass in plot and voice and character development in one fell swoop. The themes of this book are not light. Lock and West deal with heavy emotional, psychological, and physical issues, but what I found enormously refreshing was that the author didn't expect each character to "fix" the other. He allowed them to sort through their own issues outside the context of their relationship. I also like how, although several adults in their lives were awful, there were others who served as wonderful mentors.
In all, I highly recommend this book to fans of Adam Silvera and Shaun David Hutchinson.
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.