Review: Drifting (Finding Our way # 3) by Jayson James

What happens when the person you love is having doubts?

These two boyfriends have been through a lot. Best friends since childhood, fell in love in high school and thought they would be together forever. They stuck together even when their friends and family found out about their relationship. Struggling with challenge after challenge, they have finally made it to college and are living on their own. Living together is a whole new world and being open with their relationship is even more so.

Spending every day together as a couple they begin to learn about their differences. Things that never bothered them are now annoying traits driving a wedge between them. Can their relationship survive their differences? Can it handle new friends and new romances? Will they find their way together or will they drift apart?

So this book had been giving me headaches every time I thought about reviewing it, so much so I had to take a few days just to think about it before I started writing. There were things I liked about it but there were also things I disliked, I think I'm going to talk about what I did like first, as this is my comfort zone.

Straight off I have to say - I love the title and really liked the front cover. These may seem like little things but they are the first thing you see when browsing for books so it is a major plus. One of my favourite books I by-passed several times and nearly didn't buy at all because I didn't like the front cover or title.

Next, the premise of this book is fabulous. It's actually part of a series which I didn't realise until the end of the book, it most definitely works as a stand alone. It kind of turns the college boy experience on it's head as the two MC's were already in a steady, loving relationship so, instead of the college boy finding and experiencing love for the first time, we see it from the point of view of how a committed relationship becomes harder after the initial 'honeymoon' period is over. I really, really liked this, it was different and showed another side of the relationship
Derrick and Justin do love each other but they realise that this isn't necessarily enough. They try to make it work but it just won't go right. Little annoyances become cavernous differences and the couple split up. Yep I've seen this in books before, usually at the beginning then we see the rest of the book from one character's POV as they move on to their next love. Drifting isn't like that. For a start it is written from both Justin and Derrick's viewpoint, this gives us the opportunity to understand both characters and how they are feeling. As well as this though the book tells us about them drifting apart, their differences and arguments, it also tells us about them drifting together. We see the moments they share - memories, friends, understanding. This I really appreciated. This is real life, love is hard and sometimes it isn't enough. But sometimes it is. Do Derrick and Justin manage to resolve their issues? I'll let you find that out for yourselves.

So what didn't I like? There were four things really, firstly the two minor things. Contractions in modern speech are really important, no matter how it sounds in the author's head I'll stick my neck out and say that it never translates that way for the reader. The fact that a lot of speech wasn't contracted was really irritating, it wasn't a deal breaker but as an easy thing to fix it was annoying to read. The other minor point was that as well as Derrick and Justin's POV we also had Ryan and Ian's. Now frankly I didn't really care about these characters, maybe this is because I haven't read the other books in the series but really in the context I read it I only wanted the story of the main characters (Derrick and Justin) and would happily have only known about Ryan and Ian in so far as their interactions with the other two. So again only a minor irritant but it was an irritant - maybe it's just my opinion though.

The third thing that bugged me was that the characters all sounded the same, I kept losing track of which person's story I was hearing, despite each chapter being labeled with the character's name. (Also if you have a main character called Derrick, don't also have a Derek and an Eric.) There just was not enough differentiation in the characters despite being told about personality and physical differences.....

....and this segues nicely into my main bugbear. The one irritant that I found it hard to overlook, the one that meant I put the book down several times and took a break before resuming reading, I felt I was being told the story and frankly I wanted to be shown it. Show don't tell is writing 101 and I find when I'm constantly being told what is happening I don't feel involved in the story, I don't feel for the characters and the amount I care is seriously diminished. And this is a shame when the story really appeals to me. Because I was told what happened at times the characters seemed whiny and my empathy for them dwindled greatly - you get the idea??

Jayson  James has a great premise for a story with characters that could be great, unfortunately the execution wasn't all it could be, that's not to say I won't be checking out future works of his.

An arc was provided by the author for an honest review

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