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4.5 stars for Parkwood Hills: A Gay Young Adult Mystery Thriller #LGBTQ #yalit #thriller #bookreview

Title: Parkwood Hills: A Gay Young Adult Mystery Thriller

Author: Kristian Daniels

Genre: LGBTQ Young Adult Mystery/Thriller

Book Blurb:

Not everyone is lucky to be who they are. Especially in a closed-minded community.

Eighteen-year-old Joshua Redgrave, although popular, has never been in a relationship. But when Michael Pendergrass, the new teacher in town, ignites feelings that Joshua’s been suppressing for years, he can no longer deny who he is and decides to pursue him. Unfortunately, Michael refuses to return his affection. And now, Joshua must adjust to the realities of being gay in a toxically conservative town. While Joshua reels from rejection, Michael becomes the target of unwanted affection from someone else. But this person will not take no for an answer. The town is dangerous for both men. And the next time they cross paths, someone will have met their darkest day.

Will they escape the brutal hands of this bigoted town -- Or will the forces of repression smother them?

My Review:

It took a bit of time to getting into this book, the start is a little choppy and it takes a while to get into the plot. That said, once the book gets going it’s well worth the read. I couldn’t put it down towards the end. The reader is taken on a veritable rollercoaster of emotions – there’s the sweet gay romance between Josh and Frederic; the angst of coming out (and being outed) in a conservative, largely religious town where there are several very unpleasant homophobic people, and the difficulties within families, the fear and the denial. The bad guys – well Katie is a nasty piece of work, but the characters are multifaceted. The reader learns of a terrible background, and even this character evokes some sympathy.

In places the book is truly shocking and uncomfortable – with the outcome of Katie’s plan and the repercussions, but it’s done well, and the author doesn’t hold back – but there’s truth and the difficulties faced by the LGBT community in every word of that scene. I confess, it brought tears to my eyes, and I wanted to yell ‘No’.

I found the writing a little informal, but easy to read although a little light on description. Where the author excels is the raw emotion of the characters – the highs and lows.

The book is moving, thought-provoking (especially for a reader outside the LGBT community) and yet rather sweet in the romance and there is a happy ending, at least for some.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

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Author Biography:

Kristian Daniels tackles the topic of Identity. An expert study of LGBTQ and Bullying Issues.

Kristian Daniels began writing in his early teens, scripting plays and writing short stories. However, it is only recently that he dedicated himself to writing full-time and published his first novel Stolen Heart. In this book, Daniels tackles the significant theme of identity with a serious message of LGBTQ and bullying issues in his deeply poignant, candid coming-of-age gay romance, which tells the story of young adults struggling with love, life, and sexuality. With his books, he tries to submerge the reader in a story with psychological meat, what it means to love genuinely and selflessly, and about being true to one’s own self.

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Reviewed by: Alex


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