Don’t let me go by J.H. Trumble
Nate and Adam believe their relationship is forever.
Adam is graduating from high school and moving to New York to begin an acting career. Nate has said he “needs to know who I am without you," but the year is much harder than he imagined without Adam.
Last year they came out to their parents, the school, and the world. Last year, Nate had Adam by his side. Now, entering his senior year, he is not sure if he is strong enough alone. His best friend Lucy is still there to help, and Danial, a new student from Pakistan, befriends him as well, especially when Nate Skypes Adam only to find a topless roommate cavorting around and kissing Adam.
The plot moves back and forth across time from the present, to various times in the past. This can be disconcerting for the reader, but in this case it works. Slowly we are fed bits to understand Nate and Adam’s relationship, Danial’s almost too-perfect friendship, and Nate’s physical and sexual assault at the hands of some high school bullies. Family relationships, friendships and even sexual activities are brought out through the ensuing court trial as the book skips back and forth in time. For the reader, the story in bits and pieces is much easier to absorb, and better for deeply understanding relationships and the horror of the assault. The focus is always the present though, and how Nate will cope this year, especially with Matthew, a gay student who is attracted to Nate, but is unwilling to take the step toward coming out.
The almost too-perfect Danial nearly drags the story down, except we find that we are all cheering for him, and want a Danial in our schools.
Recommended for readers ages 15 and up; graphic sexual situations; some violence.